dan·​gle | \ˈdaŋ-gəl \
dangled; dangling\-​g(ə-​)liŋ \

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 \-​g(ə-​)lər \ noun

Synonyms for dangle

Synonyms: Verb

hang, sling, suspend, swing

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Examples of dangle in a Sentence


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

More so than the first Fantastic Beasts film, Crimes leaves plenty of dangling loose threads and where-to-go-next questions. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "The biggest unanswered questions from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," 26 Nov. 2018 The makeup was highlighted by dangling circular earrings that nearly reached the pop star's jawline. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Wore a Twisted Bun During a Shopping Trip," 22 Oct. 2018 Skin Tags Small pieces of dangling skin called skin tags often crop up during pregnancy, especially in the second half. Nancy Redd, Good Housekeeping, "6 Weird Body Changes That Can Happen During Pregnancy (That Are Totally Normal)," 24 May 2018 Washington kept on rolling in the third, with Kuznetsov dangling around a sliding Anton Stralman and sliding a pass through the slot to Alex Ovechkin, who finished for his 10th goal of the postseason just over 3:30 into the period. Michael Blinn, SI.com, "Washington Fires Back to Take Game 2 Against Tampa Bay," 13 May 2018 Dominating one corner is a beautiful bar, backed by tall, mirrored shelves, with a chandelier dangling overhead. Jodi Mailander Farrell, miamiherald, "We reviewed Salt Bae’s Miami restaurant. Could it possibly live up to the hype?," 15 Mar. 2018 With its front grille and a side quarter panel dangling like detached appendages, cellphone video shows the SUV apparently trying to leave the scene. Doug Phillips, Sun-Sentinel.com, "SUV bashed with sledgehammer, chased by witnesses when trying to flee hit-run, reports say," 12 Mar. 2018 With giant crystal chandeliers dangling overhead, Champagne served in lead crystal flutes that are heavy in the hand, and scarlet walls that recall the City of Lights’ most refined rooms, this bar is a beauty. Alex Van Buren, Condé Nast Traveler, "21 Best Bars in New York City," 1 Mar. 2018 Other politicians have dangled tax breaks and subsidies to encourage tech business in New York. Eliot Brown, WSJ, "Google Plans Large New York City Expansion," 7 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wiring dangles from ceilings in rooms that look out at the massive grey slabs of the separation barrier. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Unfinished Palestinian parliament a grim symbol," 6 July 2018 In a meat market, rows of aged prosciutto dangle from steel rods above displays of sausages, fresh cuts of meats, and an almost-holy litany of salumi: mortadella, prosciutto pratomagno, pancetta, coppa, lardo, mondiola, biruldu. Necee Regis, BostonGlobe.com, "Resort’s Tuscany cooking class has all the right ingredients," 2 July 2018 The unidentifiable figure, an Iranian Everyman, seems about to take a cautious step forward — or, more sinisterly, dangles suspended in space. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "In Iranian art show at LACMA, the past wrestles with the present," 4 June 2018 In his hand, a semi-automatic weapon dangles from his fingers. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, ""13 Reasons Why" Season 2's School Shooting Plot Presents a Dangerous "What If?"," 21 May 2018 With four Sharks draped over him, Tuch skated through all of them, left a little dangle and dazzled with a finish that went straight past Martin Jones. Kristen Nelson, SI.com, "Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Golden Knights, Fleury Post 7-0 Beatdown Against Sharks in Game 1," 27 Apr. 2018 Therefore, a pardon dangle, especially one by the president’s private lawyer, could twist up not only the client, but also the lawyer, in a criminal obstruction probe. Sean Illing, Vox, "I asked 11 legal experts if Trump’s lawyer obstructed justice," 29 Mar. 2018 First, a dangle of a pardon is different than the issuance of a pardon. Sean Illing, Vox, "I asked 11 legal experts if Trump’s lawyer obstructed justice," 29 Mar. 2018 Legal experts said prosecutors could view the dangle of a presidential pardon to people under investigation as a criminal effort to obstruct justice. chicagotribune.com, "Trump's lawyer allegedly raised possibility of pardons for Manafort, Flynn last summer," 28 Mar. 2018

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

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dangle

The first known use of dangle was in 1565

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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

: to offer (something) in order to persuade someone to do something


dan·​gle | \ˈdaŋ-gəl \
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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dangle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dangle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dangle

Spanish Central: Translation of dangle

Nglish: Translation of dangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dangle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dangle

What made you want to look up dangle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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