- 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
- something raveled out, as a thread drawn or separated from a knitted or woven fabric.
Origin of raveling
Related Words for ravellingunwind, loosen, disentangle, free, untangle, unravel, untwist, unweave, untwine, unsnarl, unbraid
Examples from the Web for ravelling
Historical Examples of ravelling
Was he ravelling out his life into golden threads that vanished and were forgotten?The Great Hunger
It is not by ravelling that you will best appreciate its tissue or design.Life Without and Life Within
There's no crying off for YOU no ravelling out, no clean leaves.The Return
Walter de la Mare
I was afraid to use violence for fear of breaking it, or ravelling it through.The Vast Abyss
George Manville Fenn
She would pick every shred, ravelling, or speck from one's clothing.The Speech of Monkeys
R. L. Garner
- 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.).