- to become disjoined thread by thread or fiber by fiber; fray.
- to become tangled.
- to become confused or perplexed.
- (of a road surface) to lose aggregate.
- a tangle or complication.
Origin of ravel
Related Words for raveledunwind, loosen, disentangle, free, untangle, unravel, untwist, unweave, untwine, unsnarl, unbraid
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
- 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
- a tangle or complication
Word Origin for ravel
- 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)
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.
1630s, "a tangle;" 1832, "a broken thread," from ravel (v.).