dan·​gle | \ ˈdaŋ-gəl How to pronounce dangle (audio) \
dangled; dangling\ ˈdaŋ-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce dangling (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 dangler (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 The pendant dangling from the gold chain around his neck bears the logo of his group, Jodeci. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Jodeci’s Unplugged ‘Lately’ Was Its Pinnacle. Andre Harrell Made It Happen.," 12 May 2020 During the Great Influenza a century ago, people defied the local ordinance to wear masks over their nose and mouth in public by letting them dangle from their necks. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Masks for Coronavirus Will Not Last Long in the West," 30 Mar. 2020 The players in tube socks, Terre Haute South's with red stripes, wearing warm-up jerseys with fringe on the sleeves and dangling from their backs. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "The only other time IHSAA boys basketball tournament wasn't played as scheduled," 28 Mar. 2020 The had a twenty-one plus carat marquise diamond dangling from it, along with 164 more dazzling stones. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Why the Marquise is the Most Romantic Diamond Cut of All," 10 Feb. 2020 To toggle between Instagram and Twitter in the days after Jan. 26 was to experience the social-media version of a wake: Gigi dangling from her father’s shoulders, or parked above them, her hands resting on his head. Sean Gregory, Time, "'He Was Going to Do Great Things.' Why Many Believed the Best Was Ahead of Kobe Bryant," 30 Jan. 2020 Her hair was done in a half-up, half-down style, with two long bangs dangling from the 'do. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Dua Lipa & Anwar Hadid Had A Very ’90s Date Night At The Grammys," 26 Jan. 2020 The legs of our 26th president dangled in the water. Rose Eveleth, Wired, "Teddy Roosevelt on a Moose: Fake News, or Fake Fake News?," 24 Mar. 2020 But according to multiple reports, the Clippers dangled a deal featuring Tobias Harris and two first-round picks. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "Finger: Looking back, could Spurs have dodged spiral?," 11 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "Millie Bobby Brown Channeled Eleven in a Baby Pink New Year’s Eve Dress," 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, "The Biggest Revelation From 'Miss Americana' Is Taylor Swift's Maximalist Kitchen," 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, "Selena Gomez Just Wore the Roxanne Assoulin Statement Earrings Fashion Bloggers Are Obsessed With," 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, "Painter Vivian Suter emerges from decades of self-exile with bright, blissful works at the ICA," 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, "'Disgusting': Plane passenger dangles dirty feet above woman's face in cringeworthy photo," 13 Nov. 2019 Wrinkly longaniza and trimmed pork shoulder dangle from a long wood closet rod. Illyanna Maisonet, SFChronicle.com, "Making sausage an art in Puerto Rico, and a treasured memory in a California childhood," 23 Oct. 2019 There’s the shopkeeper fussing in a garage, from whose door a rope invitingly dangles. Simon Parkin, The New Yorker, "The Joy of Being a Horrible Goose in a Time of Moral Crisis," 17 Oct. 2019 In other cases, victims are alleged to have been hung in various degrees of suspension for days on end, often whipped and lashed as their body dangles. Fox News, "Syrian regime accused of dozens of torture methods from 'crucifixion' to rape to eye-gouging," 15 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for dangle

Time Traveler

The first known use of dangle was in 1565

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Statistics for dangle

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dangle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dangle. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for dangle


How to pronounce dangle (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dangle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dangle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dangle

Spanish Central: Translation of dangle

Nglish: Translation of dangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dangle for Arabic Speakers

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