Definition of entangle in US English:



[with object]usually be entangled
  • 1Cause to become twisted together with or caught in.

    ‘fish attempt to swim through the mesh and become entangled’
    • ‘Inspired by South American cowboys, some forces deploy bolas, several yards of rope weighted with rubber balls, to entangle a suspect's legs.’
    • ‘Over the years, I have noticed that the most lethargic are likely to have algae and various invertebrates cloaking their shells and eyes, and plenty of mussels entangling their legs and gills.’
    • ‘Red tape now entangles the interrogation process, and detainees know that their adversaries' hands are tied.’
    • ‘Otherwise, it either withers away or entangles the individual lives of the couple in a terrible way.’
    • ‘The Fiobuoy can be used in situations where tethered surface buoys would be dangerous for marine navigation or risk entangling wildlife in buoy lines, or where an underwater object needs to be safeguarded from interference or theft.’
    • ‘Otway is doing all it can to persuade local fishermen to cut penguins free from their nets when they get entangled with a catch.’
    • ‘We have told both parties repeatedly, publicly and loudly to get out of our way and stop entangling our campaign with their schemes.’
    • ‘It remembered President Washington's warning against entangling foreign alliances.’
    • ‘He growled in annoyance as he hacked through an appendage trying to entangle his legs.’
    • ‘Emily gracefully spun to face him and caught the whip in her still entangled right hand.’
    • ‘Chicks more than a week old are removed from their nests between early March to May by using curved needles tied to a rope which are inserted into the nest cavities entangling the chicks.’
    • ‘When they hit bottom everyone was entangled with someone else's legs or arms.’
    • ‘I can't seem to even get past the CD singles stand without entangling my foot around a badly placed world music display.’
    • ‘With their hands still entangled together, they looked at their family innocently.’
    • ‘He grabbed her hand and entangled their fingers together instead.’
    • ‘At midnight, Sara awoke to a dark room with her blankets entangled around her legs.’
    • ‘Before now scientists only managed to entangle a few atoms close together, raising a question mark over the practicality of quantum technology.’
    • ‘Somehow Mary's legs got entangled with his, and he sprawled flat on his face, losing his cigar.’
    • ‘The staff was meticulously made, a devoutly curved and twisted wrap of gold entangling the base silver of it, with a single blood-red gem shaped like an orb tipping it.’
    • ‘His trouser leg became entangled in the rotating rod and he was flipped over.’
    intertwine, entwine, tangle, intertwist, twist, ravel, snarl, knot, coil, mat, jumble, muddle
    catch, capture, trap, snare, ensnare, entrap, enmesh, ensnarl
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Involve (someone) in difficulties or complicated circumstances from which it is difficult to escape.
      ‘the case of murder in which she had found herself so painfully entangled’
      • ‘Current-day Zen writers often seem to cloud their writing with an overlay demonstrating their likableness or they entangle themselves in a scholarly snarl.’
      • ‘The act was also not supposed to entangle reporters in a net of prison sentences, either as recipients of leaks or as disclosers in their own right.’
      • ‘It was like something had cast a heavy shadow over my eyelids and entangled me in a dark horrible nightmare.’
      • ‘All she needed was the reassurance that the girl was not entangled in a messy relationship.’
      • ‘As suits a major drama, Bruce is entangled in a complex web that makes him feel more a victim than someone in control.’
      • ‘He is, they noted, a man with a remarkable talent for entangling himself in scandal.’
      • ‘The people who make these films have enormous clout economically and politically, often entangling themselves in scandal.’
      • ‘We are hopelessly entangled in dust, work and the British monetary system.’
      • ‘Otto returned to Rome in 997, reinstalled Gregory and made Rome his capital, which would displease the Germans and entangle him in fierce Roman factional politics.’
      • ‘Attempting to prove the legal reprehensibility of the enemy can only result in entangling one's own forces in the very litigation one is attempting to impose on the enemy.’
      • ‘You're so entangled in it, and so concerned about the details of your current situation, that you miss the big picture.’
      • ‘I had to know when to say no and yes, when to understand, when to act ignorant, when to lie, when to tell the truth… ruling was a game of deceit, a web of lies that entangles you and suffocates you into a bind.’
      • ‘At present we are too entangled in the old conception to assess Hegel's claim.’
      • ‘For each person it might just be one reason, or a variety of reasons, that entangles them in a seemingly inescapable web of violence.’
      involve, implicate, embroil, mix up, catch up, bog down, mire
      View synonyms