One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Untwist (a rope) into separate strands.
untwine, disentwine, disentangle, unravel, unsnarl, unwind, unroll, uncoil, unreel, undo, spread out, unfurl, open, open out, lay out, straighten, straighten out, unkinkView synonyms
- ‘This will cause the rope to unlay and to some degree distortion of the rope will occur.’
- ‘Hercules ropes are pre-formed, to minimize unlaying and its resultant cost during further fabrication’
- ‘To minimize shrinkage and reduce unlaying when cut; the twine is fully stabilized, resulting in much easier handling.’
- ‘A knife is helpful here to get things started, but they unlay easily once you've gotten it going.’
- ‘To form the splice, unlay the two ends of the rope to be joined and tape or whip the ends of each strand.’
Early 18th century: from un- (expressing reversal) + lay.
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