from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To mix together or intertwine in a confused mass; snarl.
  • transitive v. To involve in hampering or awkward complications; entangle.
  • transitive v. To catch and hold in or as if in a net; entrap. See Synonyms at catch.
  • intransitive v. To be or become entangled.
  • intransitive v. Informal To enter into argument, dispute, or conflict: tangled with the law.
  • n. A confused, intertwined mass.
  • n. A jumbled or confused state or condition.
  • n. A state of bewilderment.
  • n. Informal An argument or altercation.
  • n. A large seaweed of the genus Laminaria.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to become mixed together or intertwined
  • v. to be forced into some kind of situation
  • v. to enter into an argument, conflict, dispute, or fight
  • v. to mix together or intertwine
  • v. to catch and hold
  • n. a tangled twisted mass
  • n. a complicated or confused state or condition
  • n. an argument, conflict, dispute, or fight
  • n. A region of the projection of a knot such that the knot crosses its perimeter exactly four times.
  • n. Any large type of seaweed, especially a species of Laminaria.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any large blackish seaweed, especially the Laminaria saccharina. See kelp.
  • n. A knot of threads, or other thing, united confusedly, or so interwoven as not to be easily disengaged; a snarl
  • n. An instrument consisting essentially of an iron bar to which are attached swabs, or bundles of frayed rope, or other similar substances, -- used to capture starfishes, sea urchins, and other similar creatures living at the bottom of the sea.
  • intransitive v. To be entangled or united confusedly; to get in a tangle.
  • transitive v. To unite or knit together confusedly; to interweave or interlock, as threads, so as to make it difficult to unravel the knot; to entangle; to ravel.
  • transitive v. To involve; to insnare; to entrap.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To unite or knit together confusedly; interweave or interlace, as threads, so as to make it difficult to separate them; snarl.
  • To catch or involve as in a snarl; entrap; entangle.
  • To embroil; embarrass; confuse; perplex; involve; complicate.
  • Synonyms To entangle, intertwine, snarl (up).
  • To be entangled or united confusedly.
  • Froward; peevish.
  • n. A name of various large species of seaweed, especially Laminaria digitata and L. saccharina. See cut under seaweed. Also called tangle-wrack and hanger.
  • n. A tall, lank person; any long dangling thing.
  • n. A snarl of threads or other things united confusedly, or so interwoven as not to be easily disengaged.
  • n. A device used in dredging, for sweeping the sea-bed in order to obtain delicate forms of marine life, too small or frangible to be obtained by ordinary dredging.
  • n. A perplexity or embarrassment; a complication.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. force into some kind of situation, condition, or course of action
  • v. disarrange or rumple; dishevel
  • n. something jumbled or confused
  • n. a twisted and tangled mass that is highly interwoven
  • v. tangle or complicate
  • v. twist together or entwine into a confusing mass


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English tangilen, to involve in an embarrassing situation, variant of tagilen, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish dialectal taggla, to entangle.
Of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse thöngull, seaweed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin uncertain; apparently a variant form of tagle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian tongul, Faroese tongul, Icelandic þöngull.


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