[ tang-guh ld ]
/ ˈtæŋ gəld /


snarled, interlaced, or mixed up: tangled thread.
very complicated, intricate, or involved: tangled bureaucratic procedures.

Origin of tangled

First recorded in 1580–90; tangle1 + -ed2

Definition for tangled (2 of 2)


[ tang-guhl ]
/ ˈtæŋ gəl /

verb (used with object), tan·gled, tan·gling.

verb (used without object), tan·gled, tan·gling.

to be or become tangled.
Informal. to come into conflict; fight or argue: I don't want to tangle with him over the new ruling.


Origin of tangle

1300–50; Middle English tangilen, tagilen to entangle < Scandinavian; compare Swedish (dial.) taggla to disarrange

Related forms

tan·gle·ment, nountan·gler, nountan·gly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tangled

British Dictionary definitions for tangled (1 of 2)


/ (ˈtæŋɡəl) /


a confused or complicated mass of hairs, lines, fibres, etc, knotted or coiled together
a complicated problem, condition, or situation


to become or cause to become twisted together in a confused mass
(intr often foll by with) to come into conflict; contendto tangle with the police
(tr) to involve in matters which hinder or confuseto tangle someone in a shady deal
(tr) to ensnare or trap, as in a net

Derived Forms

tanglement, nountangler, nountangly, adjective

Word Origin for tangle

C14 tangilen, variant of tagilen, probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Swedish dialect taggla to entangle

British Dictionary definitions for tangled (2 of 2)



tangle weed

/ (ˈtæŋɡəl) /


alternative names (esp Scot) for oarweed

Word Origin for tangle

C16: of Scandinavian origin: compare Danish tang seaweed
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