- to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, etc.).
- to free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear; solve: to unravel a situation; to unravel a mystery.
- Informal. to take apart; undo; destroy (a plan, agreement, or arrangement).
- to become unraveled.
Origin of unravel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for unraveled
So was Thomas Monath, the doctor who had just unraveled the natural history of Lassa fever.The Original Ebola Hunter
September 14, 2014
She was becoming so unraveled and undone, so it was nice that she was forced into that old ray of dealing with clients.Kerry Washington’s Favorite ‘Scandal’ Season 3 Moments
August 8, 2014
They allegedly ran their far-flung, online drug-slinging operation like a buttoned-down business—until it all unraveled.Feds Smoke Out Synthetic Weed Dealers’ Online Empire
June 16, 2014
For Socrates, the puzzle of politics and “ideology” could not be unraveled without understanding what ruled human souls.Everything Is Politics to the Right, Even Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death
February 11, 2014
For a moment, the deal appeared to have unraveled, Morrissey reps said, over a “financial dispute” with Penguin.Bigmouth Strikes Again: Smiths Bassist Andy Rourke Tells All
October 13, 2013
Unraveled rope-strands, burnt off in the fire, served to lash all together.Out of the Depths
Robert Ames Bennet
This was the mystery to be unraveled, and the Major soon explained it.In Search of the Castaways
He had, I knew, unraveled other tangles as mysterious as this.The Four Pools Mystery
These he had unraveled with the aid of Farnsworth, the attorney for the estate.El Diablo
Who built this temple, and how was it built, and when, are mysteries that may never be unraveled.Roughing It
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
- (tr) to reduce (something knitted or woven) to separate strands
- (tr) to undo or untangle (something tangled or knotted)
- (tr) to explain or solvethe mystery was unravelled
- (intr) to become unravelled
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 unraveled
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper