1610s, "to trick, deceive, cheat," from French intriguer (16c.), from Italian intrigare "to plot, meddle; perplex, puzzle," from Latin intricare "to entangle, perplex, embarrass" (see intricate).
Meaning "to plot or scheme" is recorded by 1714. That of "to excite curiosity" is from 1894 (OED calls this use "A modern gallicism"). It also could mean "carry on a clandestine or illicit sexual relationship" (1650s). The word appears earlier in English as entriken "entangle, ensnare; involve in perplexity, embarrass" (late 14c.), from Old French entrique or directly from the Latin verb. Related: Intrigued; intriguer; intriguing. Dutch intrigueren, German intriguiren are from French.
It forms all or part of: and; atoll; dysentery; embargo; embarrass; embryo; empire; employ; en- (1) "in; into;" en- (2) "near, at, in, on, within;" enclave; endo-; enema; engine; enoptomancy; enter; enteric; enteritis; entero-; entice; ento-; entrails; envoy; envy; episode; esoteric; imbroglio; immolate; immure; impede; impend; impetus; important; impostor; impresario; impromptu; in; in- (2) "into, in, on, upon;" inchoate; incite; increase; inculcate; incumbent; industry; indigence; inflict; ingenuous; ingest; inly; inmost; inn; innate; inner; innuendo; inoculate; insignia; instant; intaglio; inter-; interim; interior; intern; internal; intestine; intimate (adj.) "closely acquainted, very familiar;" intra-; intricate; intrinsic; intro-; introduce; introduction; introit; introspect; invert; mesentery.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit antara- "interior;" Greek en "in," eis "into," endon "within;" Latin in "in, into," intro "inward," intra "inside, within;" Old Irish in, Welsh yn, Old Church Slavonic on-, Old English in "in, into," inne "within, inside."
Japanese art of folding paper into intricate designs, 1956, from Japanese origami, from ori "fold" + kami "paper."
1620s, "to intertwine," from Latin complicatus "folded together; confused, intricate," past participle of complicare "to involve," literally "to fold together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + plicare "to fold, weave" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait"). Meaning "to make more complex or intricate" is recorded from 1832, from earlier sense "to combine in a complex way" (17c.). Related: Complicated; complicating.
1640s, "composed of interconnected parts, not simple," past-participle adjective from complicate. Figurative meaning "not easy to solve, intricate, confused, difficult to explain or understand" is from 1650s. Related: Complicatedness.