Definition of unravel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ʌnˈrav(ə)l/

verb (unravels, unravelling, unravelled; US unravels, unraveling, unraveled)

[with object]
1Undo (twisted, knitted, or woven threads).
Example sentences
  • There are some threads that once pulled unraveled the whole sweater.
  • When he did his first press day in Holland he had 26 interviews one after the other and afterwards he lay on his bed feeling that someone had pulled on a loose thread in his soul and continued to pull until it unravelled the whole sweater.
  • Looks like unravelled balaclava helmets cut up into one-foot lengths.
untangle, disentangle, straighten out, separate out, unsnarl, unknot, unwind, untwist, undo, untie, unkink, unjumble
1.1 [no object] (Of knitted or woven threads) become undone: part of the crew neck had unravelled figurative his painstaking diplomacy of the last eight months could quickly unravel
More example sentences
  • That it surely has, although if attention wanders even for an instant, the thread quickly unravels.
  • There against the purple horizon above the flat-topped dome rises the gray trickle of steam, barely visible, a thin ribbon unraveling into the night.
  • That last thread unraveled from the grand tapestry of the Enlightenment…
fall apart, come apart (at the seams), fail, collapse, go wrong
2Investigate and solve or explain (something complicated or puzzling): they were attempting to unravel the cause of death
More example sentences
  • The remainder of Saw is spent unravelling the puzzle, offering sly red herrings and tracing the progress of a detective obsessed with cracking the case.
  • It's got structure, but it's like unravelling a puzzle.
  • Can the India of the Vedas and the Puranas make her mother's dream existence comprehensible to Rakhi, unravelling a lifelong puzzle?
solve, resolve, work out, clear up, puzzle out, find an answer to, get to the bottom of, explain, elucidate, fathom, decipher, decode, crack, penetrate, untangle, unfold, settle, reveal, clarify, sort out, make head or tail of
informal figure out, suss (out)

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: un|ravel

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