[uhn-tang-guh l]

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

to bring out of a tangled state; disentangle; unsnarl.
to straighten out or clear up (anything confused or perplexing).

Origin of untangle

First recorded in 1540–50; un-2 + tangle1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for untangle

Contemporary Examples of untangle

Historical Examples of untangle

  • Your philosophy may be a trifle mixed, but it will untangle itself later on.

  • Sally Ann never failed to locate the trouble or to untangle the yarn.

  • A cup of chocolate, served by Gothon, helped not a little to untangle his ideas.

  • I have been spending all the afternoon getting on to the phone to Paris to untangle the muddle.

    The Man Who Knew

    Edgar Wallace

  • Those who were actually laboring to untangle the ropes only increased the snarl.

    Down the Rhine

    Oliver Optic

British Dictionary definitions for untangle


verb (tr)

to free from a tangled condition
to free from perplexity or confusion
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 untangle

1540s, from un- (2) + tangle. Related: Untangled; untangling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper