Share this entry
American English: /ˈtæŋɡəl/
British English: /ˈtaŋɡ(ə)l/

Translation of tangle in Spanish:

transitive verb

  • 1

    tangle (up)

    the bird had tangled itself (up) in the net
    el pájaro se había enredado en la red
    to get tangled (up)
    my hair got tangled (up)
    se me enredó el pelo
    Example sentences
    • Soon the rings and cans get all tangled together, and you have a huge mess inside the cooler.
    • Her hair hung in clumps down her back, tangled together and being blown in the wind.
    • We liked to think that the story of Australia is not one, but many tangled together.
  • 2 (muddle, confuse) (usually passive) the situation has become even more tangled
    las cosas están todavía más enredadas
    a tangled affair
    un asunto enredado or complicado
    Example sentences
    • Unsurprisingly, nothing is what it seems as his play tangles its way to a quadruple-cross conclusion.
    • The communications industry is becoming an increasingly tangled web.
    • Like the whole tangled story of the casa nostra, the new Mafia museum contains more secrets than meets the eye.

intransitive verb

  • (threads/rope)


  • 2 (muddle, confusion) to get into a tangle
    armarse un lío
    I'm in such a tangle with these forms
    tengo un enredo con estos formularios
    tengo un lío con estos formularios [colloquial]
    the tangle of bureaucracy
    la maraña burocrática
    Example sentences
    • The reason for the delay is the mess ministers are making of the terrible tangle of complicated regulations in an already rotten piece of legislation.
    • The real evil is the muddle, the tangle of evasions, words, intrigues by which he instinctively seeks to dodge reality.
    • I'm sure a few of you may be getting individual mails about this at some point in the future, but it's a complicated tangle, and I really don't want to go there.
  • 3 (dispute) [colloquial]
    Example sentences
    • It is left to India and China, who have in the past, frittered away their most creative energies in wars and conflicts to rise above their tangles and claim the economic leadership that he is fast abandoning.
    • However, since May 2000 the company has been mothballed over ongoing legal tussles and tangles.
    • Akin to the Rapunzel character in the classic Grimm fairy tale, the long tresses of this 12th class student from Kollam nearly got her into a serious tangle.

Phrasal verbs

tangle up

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1 (confuse) he got terribly tangled up trying to explain himself
se hizo un enredo tratando de explicarse
se hizo un lío tratando de explicarse [colloquial]
2 (involve, embroil) (usually passive) to get tangled up in something
verse implicado en algo
3tangle 1 1

tangle with

verb + preposition + object
[colloquial]he's dangerous: I wouldn't tangle with him!
es peligroso, yo que tú no me metería con él
having tangled with him before, I trod warily
como ya había lidiado con él, me anduve con pie de plomo
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.