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[jang-guh l] /ˈdʒæŋ gəl/
verb (used without object), jangled, jangling.
to produce a harsh, discordant sound, as two comparatively small, thin, or hollow pieces of metal hitting together:
The charms on her bracelet jangle as she moves.
to speak angrily; wrangle.
verb (used with object), jangled, jangling.
to cause to make a harsh, discordant, usually metallic sound:
He jangled the pots and pans.
to cause to become irritated or upset:
The loud noise of the motors jangled his nerves.
a harsh or discordant sound.
an argument, dispute, or quarrel.
Origin of jangle
1250-1300; Middle English janglen < Old French jangler < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch jangelen to haggle, whine
Related forms
jangler, noun
jangly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jangle
Historical Examples
  • In this jangle of causes and effects what had become of their true selves?

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • The jangle of the bell in the engine-room would now interrupt him.

  • A jangle of keys without imposed a sudden lull on the noise.

    Kilgorman Talbot Baines Reed
  • The jangle of little bells—the goatherds were going out of the city!

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • He was aroused from a troubled sleep by the jangle of the 'phone.

    The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
  • I was propped on my elbows on the bunk in my cubicle, nursing the jangle in my leg.

    Attrition Jim Wannamaker
  • Then the jangle of voices took on a new and distinct note of unanimity.

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • There was the jangle of harness and bells; the clop-clop of hoofs, rising to a clatter.

    Nights in London

    Thomas Burke
  • There was always this feeling of jangle and discord in the Leivers family.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • Not so far as we had been before, but far enough to be out of the whirl and clatter and jangle.

    The Van Dwellers

    Albert Bigelow Paine
British Dictionary definitions for jangle


to sound or cause to sound discordantly, harshly, or unpleasantly: the telephone jangled
(transitive) to produce a jarring effect on: the accident jangled his nerves
an archaic word for wrangle
a harsh, unpleasant ringing noise
an argument or quarrel
Derived Forms
jangler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French jangler, of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch jangelen to whine, complain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jangle

c.1300, jangeln, "to talk excessively, chatter, talk idly," from Old French jangler "to chatter, gossip, bawl, argue noisily" (12c.), perhaps from Frankish *jangelon "to jeer" or some other Germanic source (cf. Middle Dutch jangelen "to whine"). Meaning "make harsh noise" is first recorded late 15c. Related: Jangled; jangling.


late 13c., "gossip, slanderous conversation, dispute," from Old French jangle, from jangler (see jangle (v.)). Meaning "discordant sound" is from 1795.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jangle


Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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