Definition of ravel in English:


Pronunciation /ˈravəl/ /ˈrævəl/

Translate ravel into Spanish

verbravels, raveling, raveled, ravelling, ravelled

  • 1ravel something outwith object Untangle or unravel something.

    ‘Davy had finished raveling out his herring net’
    • ‘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.’
    entwine, interweave, interlace, interthread, interwind, intertwist, twist, coil, twirl, ravel, lace, braid, plait, knit
  • 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’
    • ‘The plot is sufficiently ravelled for the entry to Valhalla to have only ambiguous significance.’
    make difficult, make more difficult, make complex, make complicated, mix up


  • 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’.