en·​tan·​gle | \ in-ˈtaŋ-gəl How to pronounce entangle (audio) , 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

Other Words from entangle

entangler \ in-​ˈtaŋ-​g(ə-​)lər How to pronounce entangle (audio) , 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 Sharp, sudden dropoffs and debris under the water can startle or entangle people, Werneth said, leading to panic and drowning. Forrest Brown, CNN, 3 July 2022 Above this threshold, the chains crumple like paper and entangle with each other to create a tint, scattering near-infrared and visible light. Brittney J. Miller, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 June 2022 The school district said the coach’s prayers violated its policies, rooted in a concern that such a high-profile, public prayer by a public employee would entangle the district with religion. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 June 2022 Waters free from whalers now brim with ships that strike them, and ropes that entangle them. Dino Grandoni, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 School districts have shared concerns that the new state law could entangle them in a legal fight over differing interpretations of the law. Stephen Gruber-miller And Ian Richardson, USA TODAY, 3 Mar. 2022 Football is over, and baseball has none of the exposure to international politics that entangle the NBA with China or the NHL with Russian players. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 11 Mar. 2022 Birds, fish and whales are unlikely to suffer much harm from the Block Island wind farm, but no one knows how a thousand turbines might affect those creatures, especially floating turbines, whose cables could potentially entangle large whales. Elizabeth Royte, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2022 Few other platforms in the U.S. arsenal have done more to irreversibly entangle the U.S. in alliance structures that are, today, proving their value in standing tall against creeping authoritarianism. Craig Hooper, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About entangle

Time Traveler for entangle

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near entangle




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for entangle

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Entangle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entangle. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for entangle


en·​tan·​gle | \ in-ˈtaŋ-gəl How to pronounce entangle (audio) \
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on entangle

Nglish: Translation of entangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entangle for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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