What does tangle mean?

Definitions for tangle
ˈtæŋ gəltan·gle

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tangle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tanglenoun

    a twisted and tangled mass that is highly interwoven

    "they carved their way through the tangle of vines"

  2. tangle, snarl, mazeverb

    something jumbled or confused

    "a tangle of government regulations"

  3. embroil, tangle, sweep, sweep up, drag, drag inverb

    force into some kind of situation, condition, or course of action

    "They were swept up by the events"; "don't drag me into this business"

  4. ravel, tangle, knotverb

    tangle or complicate

    "a ravelled story"

  5. tousle, dishevel, tangleverb

    disarrange or rumple; dishevel

    "The strong wind tousled my hair"

  6. entangle, tangle, mat, snarlverb

    twist together or entwine into a confusing mass

    "The child entangled the cord"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tanglenoun

    A knot of things mingled in one another.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    He leading swiftly rowl’d
    In tangles, and made intricate seem strait,
    To mischief swift. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. ix.

    Sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
    Or with the tangles of Neæra’s hair. John Milton.

  2. To Tangleverb

    She means to tangle mine eyes too.
    ’Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
    Your bugle eye-balls, nor your cheek of cream. William Shakespeare.

    I do, quoth he, perceive
    My king is tangl’d in affection to
    A creature of the queen’s, lady Anne Bullen. William Shakespeare.

    You must lay lime to tangle her desires
    By wailful sonnets, whose composed rhimes
    Shall be full fraught with serviceable vows. William Shakespeare.

    If thou retire, the dauphin, well appointed,
    Stands with the snares of war to tangle thee. William Shakespeare.

    Now ly’st victorious
    Among thy slain self-kill’d,
    Not willingly, but tangl’d in the fold
    Of dire necessity. John Milton, Agonistes.

    Skill’d to retire, and in retiring draw
    Hearts after them, tangl’d in amorous nets. John Milton.

    With subtile cobweb cheats,
    They’re catch’d in knotted law-like nets;
    In which when once they are entangl’d,
    The more they stir, the more they’re tangl’d. Hudibras.

    When my simple weakness strays,
    Tangled in forbidden ways:
    He, my shepherd! is my guide,
    He’s before me, on my side. Richard Crashaw.

  3. To Tangleverb

    To be entangled. Shrubs and tangling bushes had perpex’d All path of man or beast.


  1. tangle

    A tangle generally refers to a state of being twisted or mixed up, referring to various physical objects or metaphorically to concepts or situations. Nonetheless, the term's specific definition can vary depending on its context. For instance, in mathematics, a tangle may refer to an arrangement of points and arcs. In hair care, a tangle refers to hair strands knotted together. In a broader sense, it can signify a complex or confused state of affairs.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tanglenoun

    to unite or knit together confusedly; to interweave or interlock, as threads, so as to make it difficult to unravel the knot; to entangle; to ravel

  2. Tanglenoun

    to involve; to insnare; to entrap; as, to be tangled in lies

  3. Tangleverb

    to be entangled or united confusedly; to get in a tangle

  4. Tanglenoun

    any large blackish seaweed, especially the Laminaria saccharina. See Kelp

  5. Tangle

    a knot of threads, or other thing, united confusedly, or so interwoven as not to be easily disengaged; a snarl; as, hair or yarn in tangles; a tangle of vines and briers. Used also figuratively

  6. Tangle

    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


  1. Tangle

    Tangle is the second album by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, released in 1989 through Thwart Productions.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tangle

    tang′gl, n. a knot of things united confusedly: an edible seaweed: a perplexity, complication: (Scot.) any long hanging thing, even a lank person: an apparatus for dredging.—v.t. to unite together confusedly: to interweave: to ensnare, entangle.—n. Tang′lefoot (U.S.), whisky, &c.—adj. Tang′lesome (prov.), quarrelsome.—adv. Tang′lingly.—adj. Tang′ly, in a tangle: united confusedly: covered with tangle or seaweed. [Scand.; Dan. tang, Ice. thang, seaweed.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. tangle

    Fucus digitatus, and other sea-weed, which are used as manure.

How to pronounce tangle?

How to say tangle in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tangle in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tangle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of tangle in a Sentence

  1. Ancient Chinese Proverb:

    An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle,but it will never break.

  2. Ram Kishore Yadav:

    Look at that tangle of wires, i won't be surprised if another fire breaks out around here.

  3. Hugh Link:

    Nobody wants to accidentally tangle up a whale, we want to catch crab not anything else.

  4. Charles Cooley:

    When one has come to accept a certain course as duty he has a pleasant sense of relief and of lifted responsibility, even if the course involves pain and renunciation. It is like obedience to some external authority; any clear way, though it lead to death, is mentally preferable to the tangle of uncertainty.

  5. Karlin Younger:

    I just happened to look down by sheer luck, and I noticed that by the recycling bin there was this tangle of wires.

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Translations for tangle

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • verwirren, Wirrwarr, sich verstrickenGerman
  • πλέκωGreek
  • enmarañar, marañaSpanish
  • درهم و برهم کردنPersian
  • tapella, tappelu, riidellä, sotkea, riita, sotkeutua, sotkuuntua, sotku, vyyhtiFinnish
  • compliquer, emmêlerFrench
  • intrecciareItalian
  • ប្រទាក់, ធ្វើឲ្យប្រទាក់ចំពាក់គ្នា, ចំពាក់Khmer
  • kusutMalay
  • wirwar, verstrikkenDutch
  • zamęt, plątanina, konfliktPolish
  • enrolar-se, misturar, emaranhado, pegar, ser empurrado, capturar, emaranhar, embaraçarPortuguese
  • ссора, запутываться, клубок, путаница, конфликт, беспорядок, неразберихаRussian
  • gräl, bråk, bråka, konflikt, trassla, virrvarr, snärja, gräla, trasslig, oreda, insnärjd, röra, tampas, härva, tilltrasslad, bråte, trasselSwedish
  • ยุ่งเหยิงThai
  • ecramyî, s' ecomeler, s' ecramyî, ecomelerWalloon

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"tangle." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tangle>.

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    a measuring instrument for measuring and indicating a quantity such as the thickness of wire or the amount of rain etc.
    • A. assortment
    • B. investigating
    • C. gauge
    • D. permutation

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