wran·​gle | \ ˈraŋ-gəl How to pronounce wrangle (audio) \
wrangled; wrangling\ ˈraŋ-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce wrangle (audio) \

Definition of wrangle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to dispute angrily or peevishly : bicker
2 : to engage in argument or controversy

transitive verb

1 : to obtain by persistent arguing or maneuvering : wangle
2 [back-formation from wrangler] : to herd and care for (livestock and especially horses) on the range



Definition of wrangle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an angry, noisy, or prolonged dispute or quarrel
2 : the action or process of wrangling

Choose the Right Synonym for wrangle


quarrel, wrangle, altercation, squabble mean a noisy dispute usually marked by anger. quarrel implies heated verbal contention, stressing strained or severed relations which may persist beyond the contention. a quarrel nearly destroyed the relationship wrangle suggests undignified and often futile disputation with a noisy insistence on differing opinions. wrangle interminably about small issues altercation implies fighting with words as the chief weapon, although it may also connote blows. a loud public altercation squabble stresses childish and unseemly dispute over petty matters, but it need not imply bitterness or anger. a brief squabble over what to do next

Examples of wrangle in a Sentence

Verb They were wrangling over money. He made a living wrangling horses. Noun They had a bitter wrangle over custody of their children. there was a bit of a wrangle over how much money to give the high school for its sports programs
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb George Caralambo had helped the Army wrangle camels in a comically ill-starred try at adapting camels to military uses. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 Or your phone sitting at the grocery store, probably after trying to wrangle open those tricky produce bags. Patricia Shannon, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Apr. 2022 But the past two years of trying to wrangle SARS-CoV-2 has made Americans more diagnostics-literate than ever before. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 1 Mar. 2022 Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present, but the lack of wireless capability stands out because the console's distance from the dash makes cords hard to wrangle. Dan Edmunds, Car and Driver, 22 Apr. 2022 The pack’s owner, standing at the top of a small hill at the far edge of McCafferty’s property, ran down to wrangle the animals. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Apr. 2022 Spring break travel brings a lot of families to the airport, and people trying to wrangle strollers, car seats and missing toys are bound to slow down security checkpoints. Natalie B. Compton, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Mar. 2022 But as my colleague Ian Bogost has written, to have to wrangle with these choices again, just as the holiday season begins, feels like a cruel joke. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 17 Dec. 2021 Even during the pandemic, and within the same hospital, the prices often reflect the leverage that an insurer has to wrangle discounts, as well as the hospital’s market power to drive up its rates. Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ, 3 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Well, there are actually three insurance companies involved, and maybe a fourth yet to be drawn into what has become, for Enriquez, a disheartening wrangle. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Oct. 2021 The legal wrangle revolved around a 1988 contract signed by Lydon, Jones and Cook that said licenses for the music could be granted by agreement from the majority of the band. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 23 Aug. 2021 There’s a yearly wrangle as Congress, the Pentagon and the administration hammer out military priorities and funding. al, 2 Aug. 2021 To some, the wrangle is emblematic of a larger rivalry between Italy’s regions, with the south, which includes Naples, complaining that again it is being eclipsed by the powerful north. Cecilia Butini, WSJ, 21 Apr. 2021 But Suez has been opposed from the beginning and a legal wrangle has ensued. Joshua Kirby, WSJ, 27 Nov. 2020 President Trump claimed in the early hours of Wednesday morning that his opponents were trying to cheat him of election victory, setting the scene for a bitter wrangle as votes were still being counted. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, 4 Nov. 2020 The yearlong wrangle prompted multiple lawsuits as well as charges of heavy handed tactics by the port, including the canceling of the city’s long-term lease for its marina property. John Maccormack, ExpressNews.com, 1 Sep. 2020 The European Union will help Cyprus try to negotiate its maritime border with neighboring Turkey in order to end an ongoing wrangle that has raised tensions in the east Mediterranean, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Thursday. Washington Post, 25 June 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of wrangle


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wrangle


Middle English; akin to Old High German ringan to struggle — more at wring

Learn More About wrangle

Time Traveler for wrangle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wrangle

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wrangle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrangle. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for wrangle


wran·​gle | \ ˈraŋ-gəl How to pronounce wrangle (audio) \
wrangled; wrangling

Kids Definition of wrangle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to argue angrily
2 : to care for and herd livestock and especially horses



Kids Definition of wrangle (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on wrangle

Nglish: Translation of wrangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wrangle for Arabic Speakers


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