- to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, etc.).
- to free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear; solve: to unravel a situation; to unravel a mystery.
- Informal. to take apart; undo; destroy (a plan, agreement, or arrangement).
- to become unraveled.
Origin of unravel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for unraveling
The short version is that political, cultural, and even economic power has been decentralizing and unraveling for a long time.Relax—Both Parties Are Going Extinct
November 4, 2014
It is not surprising that these images should be showing up during a time of unraveling of job security.Nightmares in Face Paint: Why We’ll Always Be Afraid of Clowns
October 18, 2014
The official Malaysian account of the last contacts made to and received by Flight MH370 is unraveling.Malaysia’s Sinister Timeline for Flight 370 Unravels
March 18, 2014
Part of his Turin unraveling was that Miller clearly did not go in with the Olympic spirit he brought to Salt Lake City.The Can't-Miss Sochi Showdown: Bode Miller And Ted Ligety
February 9, 2014
Dept. of Speculation is a story that seems to take place over a series of months, about an unraveling urban marriage.The Daily Grind of Domesticity in Jenny Offill’s ‘Dept. of Speculation’
February 2, 2014
Why employ his slender thread of life in unraveling this intricate web.Oswald Langdon
Carson Jay Lee
Then, as was his custom, he would begin an unraveling of the notion.Erik Dorn
His mind was preoccupied with unraveling the mystery of Rita.Fantazius Mallare
I am fond of unraveling puzzles, and I believe I can take this apart.The Telegraph Messenger Boy
Edward S. Ellis
Unraveling the mystery surrounding an old hermit and a poor boy.Five Thousand Miles Underground
- (tr) to reduce (something knitted or woven) to separate strands
- (tr) to undo or untangle (something tangled or knotted)
- (tr) to explain or solvethe mystery was unravelled
- (intr) to become unravelled
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
Word Origin and History for unraveling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper