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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Image For years, the rusty metal box lay entangled in poison ivy and trees in a Staten Island backyard. Christine Hauser, New York Times, "A Staten Island Man Found a Safe of Cash in His Backyard. Then Things Got Weird.," 19 May 2018 Judy,’’ a 150-pound juvenile that was found entangled in a fishing trap line off the Lower Keys in early February. BostonGlobe.com, "150-pound sea turtle released off Florida Keys," 13 May 2018 Deputies responded and discovered that a shoe, entangled in the jeans, contained the remains of a foot. Kale Williams, OregonLive.com, "Remains found in Mendocino County near Hart family crash site," 10 May 2018 The case has entangled schools such as Kansas, North Carolina State, Maryland and Louisville, among others, though prosecutors withdrew a criminal complaint in February against one of the defendants. Fox News, "NCAA adopts college basketball policy changes based on Condoleezza Rice panel's recommendations," 9 Aug. 2018 Quality scandals have entangled some of Japan’s biggest companies. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Japan’s Kobe Steel Indicted Over Quality Scandal," 19 July 2018 Congressional leaders have expressed confusion in the past week at how much the ZTE talks have become entangled in the broader trade discussions with China. Damian Paletta And David J. Lynch, chicagotribune.com, "Trump, Chinese leaders moving forward on deal to save ZTE," 22 May 2018 Giuliani did not consult every member of the president’s legal team, or the network of lawyers around Washington whose clients have been entangled in Trump’s legal disputes, according to several people close to the team. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump says payment to Stormy Daniels did not violate campaign laws," 4 May 2018 At least three had been entangled in fishing gear and four showed blunt force trauma, most likely from being struck by ships. Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, "These whales will be extinct in 25 years, scientists say — unless we act now to save them," 20 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about entangle

Dictionary Entries near entangle








Statistics for entangle

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for entangle

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on entangle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with entangle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for entangle

Spanish Central: Translation of entangle

Nglish: Translation of entangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entangle for Arabic Speakers

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).


involving abstract or general statements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!