- 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 ravelledunwind, loosen, disentangle, free, untangle, unravel, untwist, unweave, untwine, unsnarl, unbraid
Examples from the Web for ravelled
Historical Examples of ravelled
I am living over the past and knitting up the ravelled ends.The Love Affairs of an Old Maid
But to return, and bind to a conclusion our ravelled thoughts.The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper
Martin Farquhar Tupper
At last we had ravelled the four strands of the rope and I began to knot them together.The Mystery of the Sea
Never let your bow-string get untwisted or ravelled by neglect.
The majority of his thoughts were but ravelled threads of the past.Felix Holt, The Radical
- 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.).