jan·​gle | \ ˈjaŋ-gəl How to pronounce jangle (audio) \
jangled; jangling\ ˈjaŋ-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce jangling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce jangler (audio) \ noun

Examples of jangle in a Sentence

Verb Coins jangled out of the machine. He jangled his keys loudly outside the door. Noun the hall was abuzz with the usual preconvention jangle
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The spurs are a jingle-jangling a little bit deep in the heart of Texas. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "It’s an Alabama showcase on Texas’ big weekend," 9 Oct. 2019 Phoenix’s rancid torment jangles the nerves and turns the stomach. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Joker: The Most Unsettling of All Comic-Book Movies," 3 Oct. 2019 In a previous life, Billick would have spent this Monday afternoon operating on too few hours of sleep, his mind obsessed with next week’s opponent and his nerves jangling from the unending stress of supervising an NFL team. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "As Brian Billick prepares to enter Ravens Ring of Honor, he reflects on regret-free 12 years away from coaching," 26 Sep. 2019 South Koreans are relieved that their careers no longer hinge on jangling a tambourine for their tone-deaf bosses. The Economist, "Karaoke with colleagues is no longer compulsory in South Korea," 22 Aug. 2019 Of course, no goal is complete without a nerve-jangling wait for VAR to confirm that no one was 0.1mm offside in the buildup... SI.com, "Twitter Reacts as Wolves End Manchester United's One-Game Winning Streak With 1-1 Draw at Molineux," 19 Aug. 2019 His vocals occasionally disappear in the sound mix and don’t reach the heights of the other performers, but this is tough music — hard-edged and jangling at times. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "CFCArts opens season with moving, well-cast ‘Next to Normal’ | Review," 16 Sep. 2019 After weeks in the woods, pushing a shopping cart around a supermarket was bizarre—the muzak and bright lights jangling my brain. Chris Rush, Harper's magazine, "Love and Acid," 19 Aug. 2019 Your nerves are jangling, palms are sweating and nothing in the world can distract you from watching the action as the referee starts lifting the whistle to his lips. Ben Church, CNN, "It's official. Watching soccer can be good for your health," 11 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Accessories such as a statement necklace, a jangle of (fake) bangles, dangly earrings and a colorful, gauzy scarf will add zip to a basic look. Amy Tara Koch, Washington Post, "Leave the suitcase at home. Here’s why you should just take a carry-on, and how to pack it.," 7 June 2019 The Sugarman Another victim of the Black Hood, the Sugarman, also known as Mr. Philips, was an English teacher at Southside High with a side job as a drug supplier of jingle jangle. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Every "Riverdale" Character That's Been Killed Off," 10 May 2019 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 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 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 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

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

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for jangle

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

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More Definitions for jangle


How to pronounce jangle (audio)

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 How to pronounce jangle (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jangle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jangle

Spanish Central: Translation of jangle

Nglish: Translation of jangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jangle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on jangle

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something of little or no value

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