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 disentangle (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disentangle



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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 sudden effort to disentangle Planned Parenthood from its founder’s role in the racially motivated eugenics movement of the 20th century is too little, too late, even by the Left’s own standards. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Planned Parenthood Can’t Disavow Margaret Sanger," 19 Apr. 2021 Bay Area cities must disentangle most traffic enforcement from their police departments. Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "Listen to Oscar Grant's mom," 18 Apr. 2021 That sounds easy enough, but only a great detective, like the fastidious Belgian (or Sherlock Holmes!), can disentangle the essential from the inessential. Washington Post, "Who is the greatest fictional detective? A new book reminds us why it’s Poirot.," 14 Apr. 2021 Professional help, maybe, to disentangle yourself once and for all from past family dysfunction. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: Adult daughter is far from thrilled about this ‘Parent Trap’-style reunion," 2 Apr. 2021 Partisanship is impossible to disentangle from the moment. Rick Klein, ABC News, "Biden tempers COVID optimism with calls for unity -- and patience: ANALYSIS," 11 Mar. 2021 Saudi and Yemeni officials said recent moves by President Biden to disentangle the U.S. from the grinding six-year civil war appear to have emboldened Houthi fighters. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, "As Biden Seeks to End U.S. Involvement in Yemen, Iran-Backed Fighters Launch More Attacks," 17 Mar. 2021 Large, randomized trials are the best way to disentangle the complex realities of COVID-19 care. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "How do you treat coronavirus? Here are physicians’ best strategies," 16 Mar. 2021 To disentangle the knotty mess of contemporary American drug policy, Herzberg’s history ultimately calls to desegregate drug use. Zachary Siegel, The New Republic, "How America Segregates Drug Use," 15 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for disentangle

Time Traveler

The first known use of disentangle was in 1598

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Statistics for disentangle

Last Updated

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disentangle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disentangle. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on disentangle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disentangle

Nglish: Translation of disentangle for Spanish Speakers

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