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

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 London has now spent months entangled in messy negotiations with Brussels about the terms of separation, which will take effect on March 29, 2019. Amanda Sloat, Time, "Brexit Could Jeopardize Peace in Northern Ireland—and America Is Ignoring It," 29 June 2018 The result has been constant friction between lobstermen from both countries, as their traps get entangled or sabotaged. David Abel, BostonGlobe.com, "Fish wars loom as climate change pushes lobster, cod, and other species north," 21 June 2018 With so many of members of Trump’s own circle becoming entangled in the legal system thanks to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the president is signalling that political loyalty will be rewarded. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump pardons Dinesh D’Souza for illegal campaign donation.," 31 May 2018 The recent study also found that 17 percent of the images of plastic logged in the database showed interactions of some kind with marine life, like animals becoming entangled in the debris. National Geographic, "Plastic Bag Found at the Bottom of World's Deepest Ocean Trench," 11 May 2018 Federal authorities have extended a ban on trap gear closures for part of Cape Cod Bay to reduce the risk of right whales becoming entangled in trap gear. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "TPW Commission reconsidering its approval of air-powered guns, bows," 6 May 2018 The deaths also underscore an overpopulation of free-roaming horses, a problem entangled in competing interests, scarcity of resources and tribal cultural values. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "191 horses dropped dead beside dry pond as Arizona suffers drought," 6 May 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

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for entangle

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

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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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