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

to argue or dispute, especially in a noisy or angry manner.

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

to argue or dispute.
to tend or round up (cattle, horses, or other livestock).
to obtain, often by contrivance or scheming; wangle: He wrangled a job through a friend.


a noisy or angry dispute; altercation.

Origin of wrangle

1350–1400; Middle English, apparently < Low German wrangeln, frequentative of wrangen to struggle, make an uproar; akin to wring
Related formsout·wran·gle, verb (used with object), out·wran·gled, out·wran·gling.un·wran·gling, adjective
Can be confusedwangle wrangle

Synonyms for wrangle

1, 5. quarrel, brawl. 5. argument.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wrangle

Contemporary Examples of wrangle

Historical Examples of wrangle

  • Suppose she has to pay excess on her luggage, or to wrangle about contraband?

  • For this Testament do both creeds revere that wrangle over the later.

  • Then there was a wrangle among them; some said there was something in the vat, and others said no.

  • The wrangle with Winnie over this continued throughout the meal.


    Josephine Lawrence

  • Yes, that's what wears on me—they wrangle about me as if I had no right to say what part I am to take.

British Dictionary definitions for wrangle



(intr) to argue, esp noisily or angrily
(tr) to encourage, persuade, or obtain by argument
(tr) Western US and Canadian to herd (cattle or horses)


a noisy or angry argument

Word Origin for wrangle

C14: from Low German wrangeln; related to Norwegian vrangla
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 wrangle

late 14c., from Low German wrangeln "to dispute, to wrestle," related to Middle Low German wringen, from Proto-Germanic *wrang-, from PIE *wrengh-, nasalized variant of *wergh- "to turn" (see wring). Related: Wrangled; wrangling. The noun is recorded from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper