• IPA: /ˈtæŋ.ɡəl/

tangle (tangles, present participle tangling; past and past participle tangled)

  1. (intransitive) to become mixed together or intertwined
    Her hair was tangled from a day in the wind.
  2. (intransitive) to enter into an argument, conflict, dispute, or fight
    Don't tangle with someone three times your size.
    He tangled with the law.
  3. (transitive) to mix together or intertwine
  4. (transitive) to catch and hold; to ensnare.
    • 1671, John Milton, “Book the Second”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗:
      tangled in amorous nets
    • When my simple weakness strays, / Tangled in forbidden ways.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations
  • German: sich verstricken
  • Portuguese: envolver
Translations Translations Noun

tangle (plural tangles)

  1. A tangled twisted mass.
  2. A complicated or confused state or condition.
    I tried to sort through this tangle and got nowhere.
  3. An argument, conflict, dispute, or fight.
  4. (mathematics) A region of the projection of a knot such that the knot crosses its perimeter exactly four times.
  5. A form of art which consists of sections filled with repetitive patterns.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: ссо́ра


  1. Any large type of seaweed, especially a species of Laminaria.
    • 1849, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam, 10:
      Than if with thee the roaring wells / Should gulf him fathom-deep in brine; / And hands so often clasped in mine, / Should toss with tangle and with shells.
    • 1917, Kenneth Macleod (editor) "The Road to the Isles", in Songs of the Hebrides:
      You've never smelled the tangle o' the Isles.
  2. (in the plural) An instrument consisting essentially of an iron bar to which are attached swabs, or bundles of frayed rope, or other similar substances, used to capture starfishes, sea urchins, and other similar creatures living at the bottom of the sea.
  3. (Scotland) Any long hanging thing, even a lanky person.

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