un·​rav·​el | \ ˌən-ˈra-vəl How to pronounce unravel (audio) \
unraveled; unraveling; unravels

Definition of unravel

transitive verb

1a : 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

Scientists are still unraveling the secrets of DNA. Their plans unraveled when she lost her job. His frequent absences from home caused his marriage to unravel. I feel like my life is unraveling.
Recent Examples on the Web Trump-Era Policies: President Biden vowed to unravel Trump-era immigration rules. New York Times, 5 May 2022 Here, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Brendan, a high schooler who attempts to unravel the mystery of who killed his ex-girlfriend. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 5 May 2022 Remembering it, Martina reaches out to Sandy, calling on her nimble mind to unravel a mystery. Lauren Leblanc, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 Almost every Lynch film is a mystery to unravel, as is his television masterwork, Twin Peaks. David Sims, The Atlantic, 5 May 2022 Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe warns Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe would unravel other rights — 8:38 a.m. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 3 May 2022 As Katie begins abusing the power to alter her past mistakes, her actions slowly cause the fabric of time and space to unravel. Wilson Chapman, Variety, 29 Apr. 2022 As researchers work to unravel the mystery behind dozens of hepatitis cases in children in Alabama and elsewhere around the world, a few theories have emerged about a possible connection to a common stomach virus. al, 28 Apr. 2022 Earlier last week, DeSantis challenged lawmakers to unravel the 55-year-old Reedy Creek Improvement Act as part of a special legislative session. Jamiel Lynch, Chris Boyette And Eric Levenson, CNN, 27 Apr. 2022 See More

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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The first known use of unravel was in 1603

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unravel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unravel. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for unravel


un·​rav·​el | \ ˌən-ˈra-vəl How to pronounce unravel (audio) \
unraveled or unravelled; unraveling or unravelling

Kids Definition of unravel

1 : to separate the threads of : untangle
2 : solve She unraveled the mystery.

More from Merriam-Webster on unravel

Nglish: Translation of unravel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unravel for Arabic Speakers


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