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 wrangled

Contemporary Examples of wrangled

  • She has wrangled half-a-dozen rowboats so that people can fish in the sea nearby.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Safest Place in Somalia

    Eliza Griswold

    November 14, 2010

  • Plagued by low ratings, ABC wrangled with Cho about her weight, not being Asian enough, and then being too Asian.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Asian Jersey Shore

    Joyce C. Tang

    August 3, 2010

  • Dave Chapelle pulled off the impossible and wrangled the Fugees back together for his 2004 Block Party documentary.

    The Daily Beast logo
    11 Rock Reunion Dos and Don’ts

    The Daily Beast Video

    May 3, 2009

Historical Examples of wrangled

  • They wrangled on the doorstep until it was late, but she would not yield to him.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Their home had become a regular shambles where they wrangled the whole day long.


    Emile Zola

  • They wrangled back and forth, covering the same ground time and again.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • On the road to Hatton Garden we wrangled nearly all the way.

  • They were tired, and under the guise of unselfishness they wrangled.

    A Room With A View

    E. M. Forster

British Dictionary definitions for wrangled



(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 wrangled



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