dan·​gle | \ ˈdaŋ-gəl How to pronounce dangle (audio) \
dangled; dangling\ ˈdaŋ-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce dangle (audio) \

Definition of dangle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to hang loosely and usually so as to be able to swing freely
2 : to be a hanger-on or a dependent
3 : to occur in a sentence without having a normally expected syntactic relation to the rest of the sentence (such as climbing in "Climbing the mountain the cabin came into view") a dangling participle a dangling modifier

transitive verb

1 : to cause to dangle : swing dangled her feet in the water
2a : to keep hanging uncertainly
b : to hold out as an inducement



Definition of dangle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action of dangling
2 : something that dangles

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Other Words from dangle


dangler \ ˈdaŋ-​g(ə-​)lər How to pronounce dangle (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for dangle

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of dangle in a Sentence

Verb Let your arms dangle at your sides. She sat on the edge of the pool, dangling her feet in the water. He dangled a piece of string in front of the cat. The money she dangled in front of him wasn't enough to convince him to sell. They refused to accept the money that was dangled before their eyes.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Perhaps for the sake of capturing the actors’ expressions on-camera, the face coverings often dangle around the chin instead of protecting mouths and nostrils. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 10 June 2021 The eighth seed knocking the top seed over the edge of a cliff, left to dangle there by the grip of a single hand, heading back to Memphis for a two-game road set. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 May 2021 Two large burdock leaves dangle over a shallow pool of water inside a metal circle, and a pair of steel armatures hold, respectively, clumps of dry grass and a soil core from the Patuxent River. Washington Post, 7 May 2021 Oversize fixtures, sometimes in pairs, dangle in each of the public spaces and balance the framed artwork with a sculptural kick. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 May 2021 Taking a hammer to the McConnell-Trump design may dangle the prospect of a moment of satisfaction; the longer path offers Democrats something more amenable to a greater majority of voters, and something more sustainable down the road. Simon Lazarus, The New Republic, 6 May 2021 San Diego State coaches didn’t dangle raw meat in front of the SDSU football players in order to inspire them for Friday afternoon’s Spring Game. San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Apr. 2021 This is the perfect cultural moment to dangle the Kennedy-era optimism of a space hotel before a country full of jumpy shut-ins. Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2021 This is the perfect cultural moment to dangle the Kennedy-era optimism of a space hotel before a country full of jumpy shut-ins. Liz Langley, Star Tribune, 23 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun My final dangle over the desert floor felt almost casual. Edmund Vallance, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2021 But while admitting this much, Mr. Manafort — seeing the dangle of a potential pardon from Mr. Trump — refused to cooperate further. Charlie Savage, New York Times, 21 Sep. 2020 White rosary beads Garza threads through her fingers when there’s a need for prayer dangle at the ready on a shelf behind her sewing machine. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, 2 Mar. 2020 For the sparkly occasion, the went for an sequined one-shoulder version with a contrasting fuschia belt and accessorized with massive heart dangles. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 2 Jan. 2020 Fabrics drape from her dining room ceiling, connecting at a center point from where her old-fashioned candle chandelier dangles. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, 5 Feb. 2020 The industry elite – style editors, influencers, and, now Selena herself – all seem to have these glitzy dangles in their jewelry box. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 15 Jan. 2020 One piece at the ICA dangles from the rack, its lower quarter an earthy taupe beneath a crisp horizontal. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 29 Aug. 2019 In the picture, the woman looks visibly disgusted as the passenger directly behind her dangles their feet over her headrest, just inches away from her face. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, 13 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dangle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dangle


1565, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1756, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dangle


probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish dangle to dangle

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Statistics for dangle

Last Updated

20 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dangle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dangle. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for dangle



English Language Learners Definition of dangle

: to hang down loosely especially in a way that makes it possible to swing freely
informal : to offer (something) in order to persuade someone to do something


dan·​gle | \ ˈdaŋ-gəl How to pronounce dangle (audio) \
dangled; dangling

Kids Definition of dangle

1 : to hang loosely especially with a swinging motion The keys were there, dangling in the ignition.— Louis Sachar, Holes
2 : to cause to hang loosely We dangled our feet in the water.

More from Merriam-Webster on dangle

Nglish: Translation of dangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dangle for Arabic Speakers


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