untangle

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb untangle differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of untangle are disembarrass, disencumber, disentangle, and extricate. While all these words mean "to free from what binds or holds back," disentangle and untangle suggest painstaking separation of a thing from other things.

disentangling fact from fiction
untangle a web of deceit

When might disembarrass be a better fit than untangle?

The meanings of disembarrass and untangle largely overlap; however, disembarrass suggests a release from something that impedes or hinders.

disembarrassed herself of her advisers

When can disencumber be used instead of untangle?

The synonyms disencumber and untangle are sometimes interchangeable, but disencumber implies a release from something that clogs or weighs down.

an article disencumbered of jargon

When is it sensible to use extricate instead of untangle?

The words extricate and untangle are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, extricate implies the use of care or ingenuity in freeing from a difficult position or situation.

extricated himself from financial difficulties

Thesaurus Entries Near untangle

Cite this Entry

“Untangle.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/untangle. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

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