Definition of ravel in English:


Syllabification: rav·el
Pronunciation: /ˈravəl

verb (ravels, raveling, raveled ; British ravels, ravelling, ravelled)

[with object]
  • 1 (ravel something out) Untangle or unravel something: Davy had finished raveling out his herring net figurative sleep raveled out the tangles of his mind
    More example sentences
    • Individual sheets are raveled out in advance by blowing air against the side of a stack of sheets to remove attractions between sheets.
  • 2Confuse or complicate (a question or situation).
    More example sentences
    • The plot is sufficiently ravelled for the entry to Valhalla to have only ambiguous significance.


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  • A tangle, cluster, or knot: a lovely yellow ravel of sunflowers
    More example sentences
    • We discovered that whoever installed the pipes sealed the joints with duct tape because little silver ravels are visible at each section.
    • What results is a controlled ravel (because the cuts are made on the bias) and a fluffy chenille effect.


late Middle English (in the sense 'entangle, confuse'): probably from Dutch ravelen 'fray out, tangle'.

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