ravel

[rav-uh l]
|

verb (used with object), rav·eled, rav·el·ing or (especially British) rav·elled, rav·el·ling.

verb (used without object), rav·eled, rav·el·ing or (especially British) rav·elled, rav·el·ling.

noun

a tangle or complication.

Origin of ravel

First recorded in 1575–85, ravel is from the Dutch word rafelen
Related formsrav·el·er; especially British, rav·el·ler, nounrav·el·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for raveled

Historical Examples of raveled

  • We cannot count on raveled threads of age Whereof to weave a fabric.

    Custer, and Other Poems.

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  • Life has too little selvage; it is too often raw and raveled.

    The Face of the Fields

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • His work, like Penelope's web, is raveled out about as fast as it is woven.

    The Old World in the New

    Edward Alsworth Ross

  • Jeannette found two bits of raveled rope, hanging from a nail.

    The Cinder Pond

    Carroll Watson Rankin

  • I stood awaiting them in a raveled, mud-smeared suit of pajamas which at their best had never been ostentatious.

    The Portal of Dreams

    Charles Neville Buck


British Dictionary definitions for raveled

ravel

verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

to tangle (threads, fibres, etc) or (of threads, fibres, etc) to become entangled
(often foll by out) to tease or draw out (the fibres of a fabric or garment) or (of a garment or fabric) to fray out in loose ends; unravel
(tr usually foll by out) to disentangle or resolveto ravel out a complicated story
to break up (a road surface) in patches or (of a road surface) to begin to break up; fret; scab
archaic to make or become confused or complicated

noun

a tangle or complication
Derived Formsraveller, nounravelly, adjective

Word Origin for ravel

C16: from Middle Dutch ravelen

Ravel

noun

Maurice (Joseph) (mɔris). 1875–1937, French composer, noted for his use of unresolved dissonances and mastery of tone colour. His works include Gaspard de la Nuit (1908) and Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917) for piano, Boléro (1928) for orchestra, and the ballet Daphnis et Chloé (1912)
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 raveled

ravel

v.

1580s, "to untangle, disentangle, unwind" (originally with out), also "to entangle, become tangled or confused," from Dutch ravelen "to tangle, fray," rafelen "to unweave," from rafel "frayed thread." The seemingly contradictory senses of this word (ravel and unravel are both synonyms and antonyms) are reconciled by its roots in weaving and sewing: as threads become unwoven, they get tangled.

ravel

n.

1630s, "a tangle;" 1832, "a broken thread," from ravel (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper