jan·​gle | \ ˈjaŋ-gəl \
jangled; jangling\ ˈjaŋ-​g(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of jangle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a harsh or discordant often ringing sound keys jangling in my pocket
2 : to quarrel verbally
3 : to talk idly

transitive verb

1a : to cause to sound harshly or inharmoniously
b : to excite to tense irritation jangled nerves
2 : to utter or sound in a discordant, babbling, or chattering way



Definition of jangle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a discordant often ringing sound the jangle of spurs
2 : noisy quarreling
3 : idle talk

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Other Words from jangle


jangler \ ˈjaŋ-​g(ə-​)lər \ noun

Examples of jangle in a Sentence


Coins jangled out of the machine. He jangled his keys loudly outside the door.


the hall was abuzz with the usual preconvention jangle
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The escalating trade war has jangled nerves among farmers in California, where the European Union, Canada and China are the three largest export markets for agricultural goods. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says tariffs 'like weight loss'," 15 Aug. 2018 Newsletter Sign-up An array of Western multinationals have stumbled in the China market over remarks or marketing campaigns that jangle patriotic and political sensitivities. WSJ, "Dolce & Gabbana Tripped Up in China by Promo Deemed Racist," 22 Nov. 2018 The structure is episodic, focusing heavily — and with nerve-jangling intensity — on those moments when equipment malfunctions and momentary miscalculations put people’s lives at risk. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Netflix’s Last Man on the Moon is a perfect bookend for First Man," 12 Oct. 2018 The acting in Worsham's imprecise production is jangled at points; beats are missed and subtext is sometimes ignored. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "In 'Belleville,' two Americans in Paris head into Hitchcock territory," 24 Apr. 2018 The crowd in Austin also was jangled by its slow-burn escalation of menace to a climax of outrageous, deeply unsettling proportions. Mekado Murphy, New York Times, "SXSW Film: The Movies and Performers That Stood Out," 15 Mar. 2018 All in all, these retro cookbooks promise to soothe whatever jangles your modern-day nerves, to draw you into the comforting bosom of kitchens long past, and to serve up what’s most delicious and shall not be lost. Barbara Mahany, chicagotribune.com, "Retro cookbooks offer comforts from another era for these uncertain times," 29 June 2018 During the seventh-inning stretch, fans take their keys out of their pockets and enthusiastically jangle them in the air. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "A guide to visiting all of Maryland's minor league ballparks," 10 July 2018 When the pistachios were gone, Wayne then jangled his car keys to lure in the little fellow. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "At summer campsite, cute squirrels can go rogue," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There is a certain West Coast folk-rock jangle to the song, although the vocals are a bit more agitated than America, which definitely suits the lyrics. Ed Masley, azcentral, "10 Songs You Need to Hear Right Now: Gorillaz, Pusha T, Father John Misty, No Volcano, Post Hoc," 12 June 2018 Unsurprisingly, Reggie is the one who supplied his friends with the jingle jangle. refinery29.com, "After That Riverdale Shooting, How Did We Get Here With Reggie?," 3 May 2018 By using the properties of music, the sounds Douek and Beckerman envision in Alarm Fatigue could convey more information to caregivers, and in a form that would be easier to grasp—plus more pleasant—than a jangle of unrelated beeps. Susannah Gardiner, Smithsonian, "Could Our Housewares Keep Us Healthier?," 3 May 2018 Competing salsa tracks spill out of shops and restaurants; car horns sound off in frustration in standstill traffic; and metal spatulas jangle on the grills of street-side taco stalls. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Days in Mexico City," 16 Apr. 2018 Today, with the widest media and social-media reach in history, every new workplace shooting jangles the nation’s population from coast to coast — and churns up new calls for better security each time, experts note. Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area companies sharpen focus on security after shootings," 8 Apr. 2018 More recently, her 2017 release Pussycat was an album-length rebuke to our current president, with sharp lyrics and a welcoming musical jangle. Robert Ham, Billboard, "Juliana Hatfield on Her Olivia Newton-John Covers Album: 'I Wanted to Escape From All the Horrible Negativity'," 12 Mar. 2018 Not exactly the kind of Best Picture entry that makes the jewels jangle for joy in the audience of the Academy Awards. John Petkovic, cleveland.com, "Academy Awards 2018: 'Phantom Thread' deserves to win Best Picture Oscar (commentary)," 2 Mar. 2018 The 11 beautifully simple and accomplished jangle-rock songs on the LP sound classic, now, moody, melodic, hypnotic, focused, wintry, summery, personal and universal. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, AL.com, "How an Alabama band, Wilco's producer made a must-hear album," 22 Jan. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for jangle


Middle English, from Anglo-French jangler, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch jangelen to grumble

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Statistics for jangle

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jangle

The first known use of jangle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for jangle



English Language Learners Definition of jangle

: to make a harsh ringing sound

: to cause (something) to make a harsh ringing sound


jan·​gle | \ ˈjaŋ-gəl \
jangled; jangling

Kids Definition of jangle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make or cause to make a sound like the harsh ringing of a bell He jangled his keys.



Kids Definition of jangle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a harsh often ringing sound

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More from Merriam-Webster on jangle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jangle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jangle

Spanish Central: Translation of jangle

Nglish: Translation of jangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jangle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on jangle

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


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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