tan·​gled | \ ˈtaŋ-gəld How to pronounce tangled (audio) \

Definition of tangled

1 : existing in or giving the appearance of a state of utter disorder
2 : very involved : exceedingly complex

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Examples of tangled in a Sentence

it helps to have a lawyer to sort out the tangled contracts that home buyers typically have to contend with

Recent Examples on the Web

Two researchers at the University of California, San Diego, put varying lengths of string in different-size boxes and rotated the boxes, showing that cords of a certain length necessarily become tangled. Rachel Z. Arndt, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Way to Wrap Your Headphones to Avoid Tangling," 30 Apr. 2013 Except much like the tangled narrative threads thus far, his words serve to confuse further rather than clarify. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Jordan Peele's Take on The Twilight Zone's "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" Breaks from the Original," 3 Apr. 2019 Somehow, those thin rubber straps always get tangled and knotted up in your hair, which can be a nightmare when little ones are involved. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "These Goggles Won't Pull Your Hair — and They are Selling Out FAST," 20 Mar. 2019 Police officers at security gates sweep incoming vehicles for bombs, as the tangled curls of the next-door Universal Studios rollercoaster loom overhead. Time, "Singapore's Sentosa Island Takes an Unlikely Geopolitical Role as Host of the Trump-Kim Summit," 11 June 2018 The piano writing is almost frenetically brilliant; Mr. Andsnes dispatched it with such effortless command and penetrating clarity that every burst of arm-blurring octaves, every tangled patch of passagework, seemed both meaningful and fantastical. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Review: A Bold Pianist Rescues an Overlooked Concerto," 9 Feb. 2018 But horizontal gene transfer is most frequent among microbes—especially our newfound friends, archaea—and HGT appears to generate a large share of the phylogenetic interconnections that make life such a tangled tree. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘The Tangled Tree’ Review: From Tiny Seeds," 9 Aug. 2018 Davis, it must be said, was no slouch herself, with four marriages ending in divorce (Harmon Nelson, Arthur Farnsworth, William Grant Sherry, and Gary Merrill) and many tangled affairs. Nancy Bilyeau, Town & Country, "The Real-Life Drama That Inspired Feud: Bette and Joan," 23 Feb. 2017 Everyone has these boats that go a gazillion miles an hour and you're bashed around and your hair is all tangled, and then you're supposed to wash them. Dylan Landis, House Beautiful, "Amanda Lindroth on Decorating Her Home in the Bahamas," 9 June 2012

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

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for tangled

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tangled

The first known use of tangled was in 1596

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More Definitions for tangled



English Language Learners Definition of tangled

: twisted together into a knot
: complicated or confusing

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More from Merriam-Webster on tangled

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tangled

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tangled

Nglish: Translation of tangled for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tangled for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tangled

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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