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

Blackwell’s story can’t be disentangled from Marley’s and vice versa. Dan Rys, Billboard, "In Jamaica With Island Records Founder Chris Blackwell," 12 Sep. 2019 But many of the tools for disentangling them from the rest of the data don’t yet exist. Quanta Magazine, "A Digital Copy of the Universe, Encrypted," 2 Oct. 2013 The Chamber of Commerce, too, is in the early phases of disentangling itself from the Republican Party after decades of loyalty. Paul Wiseman, Fortune, "Businesses Are Getting Spooked by Trump's Trade Policy," 12 June 2019 The Chamber of Commerce, too, is in the early phases of disentangling itself from the Republican Party after decades of loyalty. Time, "'It's Bad News For the Free Market.' U.S. Businesses Are Spooked by President Trump's Trade Policies," 12 June 2019 And even though the Justice Department does keep detailed records of forfeiture cases taken in under the program, Kelly says the data are extremely difficult to disentangle. Radley Balko, Twin Cities, "Radley Balko: Civil asset forfeiture doesn’t discourage drug use or help police solve crimes, study concludes," 16 July 2019 Links between race, poverty and health have been reinforced by years of inequality, and disentangling them won’t be easy. Time, "Your Zip Code Could Affect Your Lifespan. These Maps Show How," 17 June 2019 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

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

7 Oct 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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More from Merriam-Webster on disentangle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disentangle

Spanish Central: Translation of disentangle

Nglish: Translation of disentangle for Spanish Speakers

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