verbravels, raveling, raveled, ravelling, ravelled
1ravel something outwith object Untangle or unravel something.‘Davy had finished raveling out his herring net’
entwine, interweave, interlace, interthread, interwind, intertwist, twist, coil, twirl, ravel, lace, braid, plait, knit
- ‘sleep raveled out the tangles of his mind’
- ‘Individual sheets are raveled out in advance by blowing air against the side of a stack of sheets to remove attractions between sheets.’
2no object Unravel; fray.
- ‘a shirt with a raveled collar’
3with object Confuse or complicate (a question or situation)‘I'd prefer you to keep your nose out of my business and not ravel things further’
make difficult, make more difficult, make complex, make complicated, mix up
- ‘The plot is sufficiently ravelled for the entry to Valhalla to have only ambiguous significance.’
A tangle, cluster, or knot.‘a lovely yellow ravel of sunflowers’
- ‘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’.