unravel

verb
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Things start to unravel when Luce is set an assignment to produce an essay from the point of view of a historical figure. J.t-j., The Economist, "“Luce” probes race and privilege in America," 12 Nov. 2019 That success story started to unravel as the financial crisis began in 2007. Washington Post, "The cautionary political tale of Iceland’s last McDonald’s burger that simply won’t rot, even after 10 years," 2 Nov. 2019 But at the end of 2017, everything started to unravel. Samantha Lauriello, Health.com, "The Youth Suicide Rate Is on the Rise, and This 23-Year-Old Who Attempted to Take Her Own Life Has Some Thoughts About Why," 31 Oct. 2019 A few months later, Anderson won the 2008 Golden Boy award as the best young talent in Europe, but things soon started to unravel after 2009. SI.com, "Ranking All 7 Brazilians to Have Played for Manchester United," 16 Oct. 2019 Woods had been keeping his activity quiet until a worker accident caused his business operations to start to unravel. George Osterkamp, CBS News, "Notorious Chowchilla bus kidnapper ran a gold mine and Christmas tree farm from prison," 11 Oct. 2019 But all that planning started to unravel when Zelenskiy’s aide tried to lock in a date for the Trump meeting before putting out the statement on the investigations. BostonGlobe.com, "Text messages show reactions to Trump demands on Ukraine - The Boston Globe," 5 Oct. 2019 But all that planning started to unravel when Zelenskiy’s aide tried to lock in a date for the Trump meeting before putting out the statement on the investigations. Lisa Mascaro, chicagotribune.com, "Text messages show top American diplomats pushed Ukraine to investigate Biden company, dangled a D.C. visit, discussed quid pro quos," 4 Oct. 2019 But all that planning started to unravel when Zelenskiy's aide tried to lock in a date for the Trump meeting before putting out the statement on the investigations. Eric Tucker, Fortune, "Text Messages Show U.S. Diplomats Pressed Ukraine to Investigate the Bidens," 4 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of unravel

1603, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for unravel

Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for unravel

The first known use of unravel was in 1603

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More Definitions for unravel

unravel

verb
How to pronounce unravel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unravel

: 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

verb
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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unravel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unravel

Spanish Central: Translation of unravel

Nglish: Translation of unravel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unravel for Arabic Speakers

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