Definition of tangled in English:

tangled

adjective

  • 1Twisted together untidily; matted.

    ‘his hair was a tangled mess’
    • ‘By now the path has degraded into the faintest of trails, partly hidden by leaves, obscured sometimes entirely by masses of tangled roots.’
    • ‘The youngster let out a yelp and clutched at the crown of his thatch of tangled, sandy hair.’
    • ‘The Yeah Yeah Yeahs front woman was lying in a tangled heap several feet below the stage of Sydney's Metro Theatre.’
    • ‘His installations, made of scrap objects and tied up with tangled roping, dominate the landscape.’
    • ‘He ended up with the soiled sheets in a tangled pile at his feet.’
    • ‘Her hair was now a tangled mess from the numerous run-throughs with her hands.’
    • ‘The world seems knitting itself in a tangled thread of the words of war.’
    • ‘The installations were accompanied by small nature paintings, a tangled root clump in one, a water lily in another.’
    • ‘Men lay wounded and dying amid the tangled rigging.’
    • ‘This machine arrived as a heap of tangled metal and over a five-year period was transformed into a fine example of authentic restoration.’
    • ‘Lying in the tangled mass of DNA is the chemical roadmap by which the biological past made it to the present.’
    • ‘Entire villages had been reduced to tangled scrap heaps of rubble.’
    • ‘Near sunset, flocks of white and black egrets flew in to settle in the tangled mangrove branches above.’
    • ‘Beside him, the Indian girl came partway awake, batting a clot of tangled hair from her face.’
    • ‘The tangled steel frameworks of several of the toppled radio towers were also lying near me.’
    • ‘A good metaphor for this complexity is a large, tangled ball of string.’
    • ‘I bend down to give her a kiss, pulling back the tangled mesh of her black hair.’
    • ‘She lay tangled in her blanket, one arm hiding her face.’
    • ‘There's an old black man, an aborigine, with long, tangled dreadlocks, kneeling at the edge of the pit.’
    • ‘Cut out any dead or weak wood, and all tangled branches.’
    • ‘Researchers have long known that fish often mature in the murky saltwater amid the tangled labyrinths of roots created by mangroves.’
    ravelled, entangled, snarled, snarled up, entwined, intertwisted, twisted, knotted, knotty, enmeshed, coiled, matted, tangly, messy, muddled
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    1. 1.1 Complicated and confused; chaotic.
      ‘a tangled tale’
      ‘the tangled relationships between Ryan and Marissa, and Seth and Summer’
      • ‘The range of characters results in a number of subplots that interweave to create a tangled story arc.’
      • ‘The truth of course is that sex is more potent than politics, even the tangled politics of royalty.’
      • ‘To me, the right result seems clear, even though the facts are complicated and the legal history is tangled.’
      • ‘The soldiers will be from local militias and local reserves, with all the tangled politics that implies.’
      • ‘Drawing on an exhaustive and tangled corpus of material, Kinney examines the many facets of these enterprises.’
      • ‘Set in the world of publishing, Pinter's play lays bare the tangled relationships of its three main characters together with all the hurts of a long-standing affair.’
      • ‘They're locked in a feedback loop, a tangled form of denial.’
      • ‘The tangled evidence indicates that Crazy Horse favored a breakout to reunite with Sitting Bull.’
      • ‘It's a feud that's much too tangled to unravel in an op-ed piece.’
      • ‘And, as a melodrama about broken friendships and tangled family relationships, it only does the job some of the time.’
      • ‘I scribbled notes and hoped for some insight into the tangled mass of problems I had made my life's work.’
      • ‘The problem is this is all so tangled and mucky, I'm not sure what the legal issues actually are anymore.’
      • ‘The rest of the narrative is a tangled mess that sacrifices development of any kind at the altar of spectacular setpieces.’
      • ‘He doesn't name a specific place, a specific society, or a particular world for Mozart's tangled love game.’
      • ‘The affair is a very tangled one.’
      • ‘Terry rails against Jack's indifference and desperately tries to salvage some kind of relationship from the tangled chaos.’
      • ‘To pretty much anyone this lot represents a bewildering, tangled, confused maze of information.’
      • ‘And there is nothing more cheaply entertaining than a friend with a tangled love life.’
      confused, jumbled, mixed up, messy, chaotic, scrambled, complicated, involved, convoluted, complex, intricate, knotty, tortuous, devious, maze-like, labyrinthine
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • a tangled web

    • A complex, difficult, and confusing situation or thing.

      ‘a tangled web of lies’
      • ‘I'm one of those people that believes decisions are rarely black and white, but rather are a tangled web of possibilities, opportunities, and consequences.’
      • ‘The trial threatened to, and in the event did, unmask a tangled web of conflicting engagements between government departments.’
      • ‘Instead, it has become a tangled web of bureaucracy, with unprecedented powers afforded to the Minister.’
      • ‘He stars as the hard-bitten ex-cop who gets drawn into a tangled web of drugs, murder, and ultimately, revenge.’
      • ‘It may be the most complex structure in the universe, a tangled web of more than a hundred billion nerve cells.’
      • ‘While in Mexico to retrieve an overdue debt, he finds himself embroiled in a tangled web of love, passion and betrayal.’
      • ‘But with official records locked away for many years to come and her life shrouded in a tangled web of secrecy, the real truth has probably died with her.’
      • ‘I didn't mention that I had dated a total of one guy, had a disastrous event with two others and was in a tangled web of confusion with a third.’
      • ‘The whole situation had been a tangled web, but after everything that had occurred, he knew that for the sake of family and for the sake of a child, he knew he would have to go back.’
      • ‘Rather than enter into the labyrinth of that debate, I would prefer to argue that it shows what a tangled web we weave whenever we import private profit into a public service.’

Pronunciation

tangled

/ˈtaŋɡld/