en·​tan·​gle | \in-ˈtaŋ-gəl, en-\
entangled; entangling; entangles

Definition of entangle 

transitive verb

1a : to wrap or twist together : interweave

b : ensnare

2a : to involve in a perplexing or troublesome situation became entangled in a lawsuit

b : to make complicated the story is entangled with legends

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Other Words from entangle

entangler \ in-​ˈtaŋ-​g(ə-​)lər , en-​ \ noun

Examples of entangle in a Sentence

in the process of taking down the Christmas tree, we managed to entangle the string of lights into a hopeless mess of wires the young runaway gradually became entangled in a web of lies

Recent Examples on the Web

The average for Washington and Oregon is about three to four whales entangled each year, and this year there have been seven already, Wilkinson said. Anchorage Daily News, "Whale strandings off Washington-Oregon coast highest in nearly 2 decades," 3 July 2018 Congress failed to make headway on immigration issues earlier this year, and the urgency to resolve DACA recipients’ status faded when Trump’s effort to end the Obama-era program became entangled in the courts. Gayle Putrich, San Francisco Chronicle, "California Republicans close to forcing vote on DACA bills in House," 17 May 2018 Drug maker Novartis became entangled in the ongoing Donald Trump-Stormy Daniels-Michael Cohen saga this week. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "That $1.2 Million Payment to Trump's Lawyer Wasn't Even a Drop in the Bucket for Novartis," 10 May 2018 As research like that done by the Cultural Cognition Project has shown, cultural identities became entangled with climate change in the United States—something that hasn’t happened with most other scientific topics. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The politics dominating views on climate change is made in the USA," 8 May 2018 According to Jackson County proseuctors, that turmoil began when Jungerman and Pickert first became entangled in a legal case in 2012. NBC News, "Man charged with murder of Kansas City attorney after accidentally recording confession, prosecutors say," 12 Apr. 2018 McCabe’s tenure became entangled in politically charged controversies, including the investigation into Clinton’s private email and the continuing criminal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Chris Strohm, Bloomberg.com, "Sessions Weighs Firing FBI’s McCabe Before Retirement," 14 Mar. 2018 Yarmouk had become a vibrant community as hundreds of thousands of Syrians came to live alongside the 160,000 Palestinians there, but then Syria’s civil war entangled the area in a brutal struggle between government forces and rebel groups. Hwaida Saad, New York Times, "Memories Lost and Futures on Hold: A Look Inside a Camp for Syria’s Displaced," 11 July 2018 Struck by a ship, entangled in crab pots, stillborn, emaciated: It's been a tough three months for whales. Anchorage Daily News, "Whale strandings off Washington-Oregon coast highest in nearly 2 decades," 3 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for entangle

Middle English, from Anglo-French entangler — more at tangle entry 1

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Statistics for entangle

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for entangle

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

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More Definitions for entangle



English Language Learners Definition of entangle

: to cause (something) to get caught in or twisted with something else

: to get (someone) involved in a confusing or difficult situation


en·​tan·​gle | \in-ˈtaŋ-gəl \
entangled; entangling

Kids Definition of entangle

1 : to make tangled or confused Don't entangle the ropes.

2 : to catch in a tangle Birds were entangled in the net.

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Comments on entangle

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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