en·​snarl | \in-ˈsnär(-ə)l, en-\
ensnarled; ensnarling; ensnarls

Definition of ensnarl 

transitive verb

: to involve in a snarl

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Synonyms & Antonyms for ensnarl


catch up, enmesh (also immesh), ensnare, entangle, entoil, entrap, mesh, net, snare, tangle, trap


disentangle, untangle

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Examples of ensnarl in a Sentence

for two years the couple was ensnarled in the red tape of an international adoption

Recent Examples on the Web

The controversies that have ensnarled Chang have run the gamut, from budget cuts and school closures to turbulent leadership at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. James Vaznis, BostonGlobe.com, "At midpoint of his term, Tommy Chang is being tested," 18 Feb. 2018 McCabe has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but is now ensnarled in a criminal investigation by the US Attorney's office in DC based on the inspector general's findings -- a searing reminder of the gravity of the office's powers. Laura Jarrett, CNN, "DOJ Inspector General report on FBI handling of Clinton email probe entering final stages," 16 May 2018 Yet O'Callaghan now lands in the thick of the highest-profile investigation at the Justice Department, ensnarling former Trump campaign associates. Laura Jarrett, CNN, "Rosenstein gets new top deputy for Russia probe," 3 Apr. 2018 The lyrics were indecipherable, ensnarled with music that shoved silence into the farthest corners. David Roderick, San Francisco Chronicle, "State Lines: California poetry: David Hernandez’s ‘Decibel House’," 10 Jan. 2018 Flight cancellations continue to grow after Harvey Flights have been grounded at both of Houston's busiest airports as Hurricane Harvey's remnants continued to ensnarl airline schedules in Texas. Editors, USA TODAY, "5 things you need to know Monday," 28 Aug. 2017 Perhaps more importantly, though, not long after the sale closed, Rybolovlev became ensnarled in a divorce from his wife Elena, a toxic spill that splashed on for seven years. Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, "Donald Trump and the mansion that no one wanted. Then came a Russian fertilizer king," 27 Feb. 2017 In those cases, open source code buried in a winning app can quickly devalue the invention and ensnarl the host company in costly disputes. Scott Popma And Scott Allen, WIRED, "Your Creative, Open Hackathon Is Ripe for Ownership Disputes," 22 July 2013 As the water catastrophe stretches into its third year, Lyon is the highest-ranking member of Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s administration to get ensnarled in the ongoing criminal investigation. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Michigan health director, 4 others charged with manslaughter over Flint water," 14 June 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ensnarl

The first known use of ensnarl was in the 15th century

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Comments on ensnarl

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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