Ravel meaning

răv'əl
Ravel is to tangle, or to complicate something like a question or situation.

When you tangle a handful of cable cords, this is an example of when you ravel.

When someone asks you a question and you give a wandering and confusing answer that only complicates matters, this is an example of when you ravel.

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The definition of a ravel is a cluster, tangle or knot.

A balled up, tangled knot of Christmas decorations is an example of a ravel.

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To separate the fibers or threads of (cloth, for example); unravel.
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To clarify by separating the aspects of.
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To tangle or complicate.
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To become separated into its component threads; unravel or fray.
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To become tangled or confused.
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A raveling.
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A broken or discarded thread.
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A tangle.
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To make complicated or tangled.

Parts of his argument were all raveled up.

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To separate the parts, esp. threads, of; untwist; unweave; unravel.
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To make clear; disentangle.
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To become separated into its parts, esp. threads; become unwoven; fray (out)
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To become complicated or tangled.
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A raveled part in a fabric; raveling.
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A tangled mass or complication.
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1875-1937; Fr. composer.
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To tangle; entangle; entwine confusedly, become snarled; thus to involve; perplex; confuse.
  • 1871, Popular Science News, Volumes 5-7, edition Digitized, published 2011, page 61.
    ... and in them are minute glands, which resemble ravelled tubes ...
  • 2011 September 10, Martha T. Moore, “After 9/11, dinner gang raises funds to honor those lost", USA Today, accessed on 2012-08-24.
    But the real work of the First Thursday Foundation is remembering, and its biggest gift is knitting back together lives raveled by loss.
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To undo the intricacies of; to disentangle or clarify.
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To pull apart (especially cloth or a seam); unravel.
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(computing, programming) In the APL language, to reshape (a variable) into a vector.
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Origin of ravel

  • Obsolete Dutch ravelen from ravel loose thread
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Dutch ravelen (“to tangle, fray out, unweave"), from Dutch rafel (“frayed thread")
    From Wiktionary