unravel

verb un·rav·el \ ˌən-ˈra-vəl \
Updated on: 9 May 2018

Definition of unravel

1 a : to disengage or separate the threads of : disentangle
b : to cause to come apart by or as if by separating the threads of
2 : to resolve the intricacy, complexity, or obscurity of : clear up
  • unravel a mystery

Examples of unravel in a Sentence

  1. Scientists are still unraveling the secrets of DNA.

  2. Their plans unraveled when she lost her job.

  3. His frequent absences from home caused his marriage to unravel.

  4. I feel like my life is unraveling.

Recent Examples of unravel from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unravel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of unravel

1603

in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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UNRAVEL Defined for English Language Learners

unravel

Definition of unravel for English Language Learners

  • : to cause the separate threads of something to come apart

  • : to find the correct explanation for (something that is difficult to understand)

  • : to fail or begin to fail


UNRAVEL Defined for Kids

unravel

verb un·rav·el \ ˌən-ˈra-vəl \

Definition of unravel for Students

unraveled or unravelled; unraveling or unravelling
1 : to separate the threads of : untangle
2 : solve
  • She unraveled the mystery.


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