Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

unravel

[uhn-rav-uh l] /ʌnˈræv əl/
verb (used with object), unraveled, unraveling or (especially British) unravelled, unravelling.
1.
to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, etc.).
2.
to free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear; solve:
to unravel a situation; to unravel a mystery.
3.
Informal. to take apart; undo; destroy (a plan, agreement, or arrangement).
verb (used without object), unraveled, unraveling or (especially British) unravelled, unravelling.
4.
to become unraveled.
Origin of unravel
1595-1605
First recorded in 1595-1605; un-2 + ravel
Related forms
unraveler; especially British, unraveller, noun
unravelment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for unravelled
Historical Examples
  • Men like the problem that they fancy they have unravelled by their own acuteness.

    The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly Charles James Lever
  • The Government has unravelled a good deal of the conspiracy.

  • It is a cipher that cannot be unravelled without the key number.

    The Grell Mystery Frank Froest
  • “This mystery is unravelled,” thought I, and I was right in my conjectures.

    Japhet in Search of a Father Frederick Marryat
  • I stepped off him, unravelled the lead and dragged him to the Parcels Office.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • In solving the problem of the invoices, all the rest of the trouble seemed to be unravelled.

    Desk and Debit Oliver Optic
  • All that is mysterious has now, I believe, been unravelled, and we may go back to our story.

    The Bertrams

    Anthony Trollope
  • Directly it was light I took off and unravelled one of my socks.

    A Bid for Fortune Guy Boothby
  • Then little by little he unravelled the boy's desire, and the story of the treasure.

    Paul the Minstrel and Other Stories Arthur Christopher Benson
  • We shall have unravelled all your mysteries, and read all your riddles, by—when shall I say?

    Framley Parsonage

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for unravelled

unravel

/ʌnˈrævəl/
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
1.
(transitive) to reduce (something knitted or woven) to separate strands
2.
(transitive) to undo or untangle (something tangled or knotted)
3.
(transitive) to explain or solve: the mystery was unravelled
4.
(intransitive) to become unravelled
Derived Forms
unraveller, noun
unravelment, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unravelled

unravel

v.

c.1600, from un- (2) + ravel (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for unravel

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unravelled

14
19
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for unravelled