- to bring together into a mass of confusedly interlaced or intertwisted threads, strands, or other like parts; snarl.
- to involve in something that hampers, obstructs, or overgrows: The bushes were tangled with vines.
- to catch and hold in or as if in a net or snare.
- to be or become tangled.
- Informal. to come into conflict; fight or argue: I don't want to tangle with him over the new ruling.
- a tangled condition or situation.
- a tangled or confused mass or assemblage of something.
- a confused jumble: a tangle of contradictory statements.
- Informal. a conflict; disagreement: He got into a tangle with the governor.
Origin of tangle1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tangling
But Silva, hapless Silva, got his merely for tangling with the Colombian goalkeeper in a clumsy melee of limbs.Brazil and Colombia Bring the Ugly Game
July 4, 2014
Tangling with the ancients in this way takes a certain Herculean arrogance.A Manifesto for Disorder: Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s ‘Antifragile’ Reviewed
November 26, 2012
He is seeing ghosts, cried Daniel, he is tangling up the threads of my life.The Goose Man
There has been a tangling of his affairs by somebody, but that does not change the truth.The Price of the Prairie
Margaret Hill McCarter
When women get to tangling up money with their own doings, it's the devil.Joyce of the North Woods
Harriet T. Comstock
In the meantime there was no sense in tangling up with discussions.The Rules of the Game
Stewart Edward White
All the same the time is set and the tangling of no more makes the hand-shaking.Matisse Picasso and Gertrude Stein
- a confused or complicated mass of hairs, lines, fibres, etc, knotted or coiled together
- a complicated problem, condition, or situation
- to become or cause to become twisted together in a confused mass
- (intr often foll by with) to come into conflict; contendto tangle with the police
- (tr) to involve in matters which hinder or confuseto tangle someone in a shady deal
- (tr) to ensnare or trap, as in a net
- alternative names (esp Scot) for oarweed
Word Origin and History for tangling
mid-14c., nasalized variant of tagilen "to involve in a difficult situation, entangle," from a Scandinavian source (cf. dialectal Swedish taggla "to disorder," Old Norse þongull "seaweed"). In reference to material things, from c.1500. Meaning "to fight with" is American English, first recorded 1928. Related: Tangled; tangling. Tanglefoot (1859) was Western American English slang for "strong whiskey."
1610s, "a tangled condition," from tangle (v.).