dis·​en·​tan·​gle | \ ˌdis-in-ˈtaŋ-gəl How to pronounce disentangle (audio) \
disentangled; disentangling; disentangles

Definition of disentangle

transitive verb

: to free from entanglement : unravel

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Other Words from disentangle

disentanglement \ ˌdis-​in-​ˈtaŋ-​gəl-​mənt How to pronounce disentanglement (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disentangle


ravel (out), unbraid, unlay, unravel, unsnarl, untangle, untwine, untwist, unweave


entangle, snarl, tangle

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Choose the Right Synonym for disentangle

extricate, disentangle, untangle, disencumber, disembarrass mean to free from what binds or holds back. extricate implies the use of care or ingenuity in freeing from a difficult position or situation. extricated himself from financial difficulties disentangle and untangle suggest painstaking separation of a thing from other things. disentangling fact from fiction untangle a web of deceit disencumber implies a release from something that clogs or weighs down. an article disencumbered of jargon disembarrass suggests a release from something that impedes or hinders. disembarrassed herself of her advisers

Examples of disentangle in a Sentence

it took forever to disentangle the knot the years that it took to disentangle ourselves from our troubles after someone started using our social security numbers

Recent Examples on the Web

The disparity could be due to several causes, which are not easy to fully disentangle. James W Vaupel, Quartz, "How long can humans live?," 2 June 2019 Periodically, scholars undertake to solve what is known as the Socratic problem, shorthand for the attempt to disentangle an accurate, verifiable narrative of the life of the historical Socrates from the available sources. Jamie James, WSJ, "‘Socrates in Love’ Review: A Vigorous, Brilliant Young Man," 17 May 2019 The actual purposes of the feast may be hard to disentangle, at least beyond the potential camaraderie. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Study: Ancient Stonehenge Pig Roasts Brought in People From All Over Britain," 13 Mar. 2019 That would disentangle the company from Mr. Deripaska, but not in a way that advances America’s interests. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Schumer’s Russia Sanctions Gambit," 14 Jan. 2019 But disentangling the film from the current political and cultural climate, Overlord is a shocking, thrilling B-movie ride that works on its own level. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Overlord is a gloriously entertaining piece of B-movie schlock," 9 Nov. 2018 Windows does, of course, contain many individual components, and Microsoft has done a lot of work to disentangle these. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Microsoft’s problem isn’t how often it updates Windows—it’s how it develops it," 20 Oct. 2018 The votes came after two days of bruising debate on the government’s key piece of Brexit legislation — the European Union Withdrawal Bill, intended to disentangle Britain from the 28-nation bloc after four decades of membership. Washington Post, "UK government defeats pro-EU lawmakers on Brexit, for now," 13 June 2018 In the days after the sanctions were made public, aluminum prices jumped more than 20%, as institutions and investors quickly tried to disentangle themselves from the Russian aluminum giant. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "U.S. Extends Deadline for Investors to Disentangle From Rusal," 23 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disentangle.' 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 disentangle

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for disentangle

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for disentangle

The first known use of disentangle was in 1598

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More Definitions for disentangle



English Language Learners Definition of disentangle

: to separate (things that are twisted together or caught on one another)
: to remove the twists or knots in (something)


dis·​en·​tan·​gle | \ ˌdi-sᵊn-ˈtaŋ-gəl How to pronounce disentangle (audio) \
disentangled; disentangling

Kids Definition of disentangle

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Spanish Central: Translation of disentangle

Nglish: Translation of disentangle for Spanish Speakers

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