Definition of entanglement in US English:



  • 1The action or fact of entangling or being entangled.

    ‘many dolphins die from entanglement in fishing nets’
    • ‘Toxic chemicals, oil spills, entanglement in fishing gear and depleted habitats are among the threats to California's sea otters.’
    • ‘If toys have protruding objects, be alert to possible entanglement hazards, particularly loose clothing or strings around a child's neck.’
    • ‘Those include pollution, boat strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and developments that impact on whale breeding grounds, feeding grounds, and migration routes.’
    • ‘The pier is a popular fishing location, but divers need to be aware of the risk of fishing-line entanglement.’
    • ‘A new report reveals that Tanzania's population of dugongs is on the verge of collapse as a result of accidental entanglement in gill nets.’
    • ‘I like the idea of a friendship that could be discontinued at will but worry that this could quickly deteriorate into emotional entanglement, hers or mine.’
    • ‘Litter poses a threat to dolphins, whales, turtles and seabirds by entanglement in and ingestion of plastics.’
    • ‘He was eight years older and wary of entanglement after a painful affair with Barbara Stanwyck.’
    • ‘In a few cases, biologists found evidence of ship strikes (propeller cuts) or entanglement in fishing gear.’
    • ‘Today the biggest threat facing right whales is collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear.’
    • ‘An affair is consensual sex and/or emotional entanglement between two willing adults, one of which has previously promised not to do such things.’
    • ‘Elizabeth, 11, barely speaks, and she views her adoption by the Sheridans as just another temporary situation, to be endured without emotional entanglement.’
    • ‘It's a fairly cold action film, strong on car chases and killing, but without much emotional entanglement.’
    • ‘Strikes by ships and entanglement in some types of fishing gear are the biggest threats to the endangered right whales.’
    • ‘Another organisation has also found an increasing number of boat strikes and entanglement in monofilament fishing lines.’
    • ‘Continuing, he explained that crush injuries involving animals or entanglement in machinery account for most farm accidents.’
    • ‘By resolve, I mean, coming to a point where each of you are fairly free of the emotional entanglement that holds you together and generates the pain and fear.’
    • ‘But even in these most remote outposts, threats are growing from offshore fishing pressures and entanglement in long-lines.’
    • ‘Ship collisions and entanglement in fishing gear now make up 50 percent of known right whale deaths.’
    • ‘Humpback recovery looks strong, but threats such as boat traffic, entanglement in fishing gear, sonar noise, and disruption of habitat and food supply remain.’
    participation, action, hand
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A complicated or compromising relationship or situation.
      ‘romantic entanglements’
      • ‘These patterns of fear, challenges and entanglements with other opposing political actors have shaped the form of governance against all types of imminent or anticipated threats to their domination over power.’
      • ‘Legislation is typically worked through in terms of the English nation: its internal situation, its external entanglements, and the pressure of domestic opinion.’
      • ‘My lifelong entanglement with pay phones dates me; when I was young they were just there, a given, often as stubborn and uncongenial as the curbstone underfoot.’
      • ‘For the entire time that she had been living in New Haven, she had studiously avoided romantic entanglements.’
      • ‘Despite the complicated love entanglements of his novels, his focus is not on romance or adventure, but on the political realities and theories that his characters express.’
      • ‘The romantic entanglements of a touring dance company are played out one midsummer night as they travel on a train.’
      • ‘It takes into account the inherent entanglement of psychophysical systems and the fact that such systems have their own history.’
      • ‘Romantic and political entanglements begin to reveal themselves, exposing the secrets and baroque relationships among the townsfolk.’
      • ‘The ensuing chase reveals not only more treachery but also a passel of romantic entanglements.’
      • ‘Matters are complicated by the entanglements these old members have with several current undergraduates, who have motives of their own.’
      • ‘What was also great was that we were not looking for romantic entanglements.’
      • ‘Our history, as he deftly shows, does not reflect a tendency toward isolationism but an avoidance of entanglements - those complications that partners can bring to a mix.’
      • ‘Given the single status of most of the characters, the plots naturally involve romantic entanglements and explicit sexual dialogue and situations.’
      • ‘I am married to a minister who has had one physical affair and at least one emotional entanglement in the past 10 years.’
      • ‘The storyline skips through similar romantic entanglements and political intrigues, en route to another happy ending.’
      • ‘But what Thoreau was least good at was deciding how best to live within the complicated entanglements of other individual people.’
      • ‘Sharon told him that Chris avoided romantic entanglements in order to focus on working towards a lucrative career.’
      • ‘The fallout of this particular affair, his entanglement with a childhood friend of hers - another innocent - and its ugly denouement is what constitutes the plot of the novel.’
      • ‘This occurred in spite of the girls' initial intentions to avoid romantic entanglements.’
      • ‘He begins affairs with two women - a romantic entanglement which ends in tragedy.’
      involvement, complication, mix-up, adventure, undertaking
      affair, relationship, love affair, romance, fling, flirtation, dalliance, liaison, involvement, attachment, affair of the heart, intrigue
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 An extensive barrier, typically made of interlaced barbed wire and stakes, erected to impede enemy soldiers or vehicles.
      ‘the attackers were caught up on wire entanglements’
      • ‘A burst of gunfire swept the ground to his left, several rounds zinging off the barb wire entanglement to the left of the path that had been cleared through the wire by the pioneers in preparation for the assault.’
      • ‘It could have been the result of the considerable activity then going on along the coastline by defence preparations, with the laying of landmines and barbed wire entanglements.’
      • ‘Yes, the bolster is drawn across the bed, with barbed wire entanglements and snipe holes arranged.’
      • ‘The barbed wire entanglements were so strong that they were never penetrated though hundreds died trying.’
      • ‘Due to shortages of iron and steel barbed wire entanglements were erected using wood posts hammered into the ground.’
      • ‘In modern French, the term has come to be used for portable barbed wire entanglements.’
      • ‘As soon as we touched the beach we could see wire entanglements.’
      • ‘During the battalion's advance on the village, the troops were met by fire from two machine-guns which were entrenched and strongly covered by wire entanglements.’