A piece of rope unraveling.
- An example of unravel is to solve a mystery.
- An example of unravel is to have the threads separate on a sweater.
- An example of unravel is to untangle a jumble of electrical cords.
transitive verb-·eled or -·elled, -·el·ing or -·el·ling
- to undo (something woven or tangled); untangle or separate the threads of
- to make clear of confusion or involvement; solve
- to become unraveled
- to fall apart, disintegrate, collapse, etc.: too much drinking can cause your whole life to unravel
verbun·rav·eled, un·rav·el·ing, un·rav·els, or un·rav·elled un·rav·el·ling
- a. To undo or ravel the entangled, knitted, or woven threads of: unraveled the sweater.b. To undo or separate (entangled, knitted, or woven threads).
- To clarify the elements of (something mysterious or baffling); solve: The detective unraveled the mystery.
- To cause to fail or become ruined or unfulfilled: Their plans to open a restaurant became unraveled.
- To become unraveled: The seam unraveled.
- To fail or become ruined or unfulfilled: His life unraveled after the stock market crash.
(third-person singular simple present unravels, present participle unraveling or unravelling, simple past and past participle unraveled or unravelled)
- to separate the threads (of); disentangle
- Stop playing with the seam of the tablecloth! You will unravel it.
- Mother couldn't unravel the ball of wool after the cat had played with it.
- (intransitive) to become undone
- (figuratively) To clear from complication or difficulty; to unfold; to solve.
- to unravel a plot
- (figuratively) To separate the connected or united parts of; to throw into disorder; to confuse.
unraveling and unraveled are primarily US while unravelling and unravelled are primarily UK.