An example of a shambles is an extremely messy house after a teen has a huge party when his parents are away for the weekend.
Made dinner and left the kitchen a shambles.
Rooms left a shambles by conventioneers.
Origin of shambles
- From Middle English shamel, shambil place where meat is butchered and sold from Old English sceamol table, counter (as one on which items for sale are placed) from Latin scabillum, scamillum diminutive of scamnum bench, stool
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Old English scamul. A borrowing from Vulgar Latin scamellum, diminutive of Latin scamnum (“bench").