Definition of jangle in US English:



  • 1Make or cause to make a ringing metallic sound, typically a discordant one.

    no object ‘a bell jangled loudly’
    with object ‘Ryan stood on the terrace jangling his keys’
    • ‘The waitress looked up when the bells jangled, signaling a customer.’
    • ‘From the door a light knock came, followed by the sound of the keys jangling as the door was unlocked.’
    • ‘A girl sitting in the first row raised her hand eagerly, the bangles looped around her wrist jangling loudly regardless of being concealed inside her student uniform.’
    • ‘The bells jangled and someone entered the diner.’
    • ‘It's usually at least another hour before anyone nervously pushes open the door, setting the bell jangling.’
    • ‘Presently the bell at the door jangled as a group of customers left the café.’
    • ‘My ears were met with the noise of Bam nervously jangling his car keys.’
    • ‘Even though the house lights are up, and the bar manager is jangling his keys impatiently.’
    • ‘The keys to the Jeep jangled loudly in my pocket, and I felt happier and happier as I got farther and farther away from everything I had found familiar.’
    • ‘Asaire shook his head, the bells on his hat jangling, although the sound was barely audible over the general din in the kitchens.’
    • ‘We waited another minute, till finally we heard keys jangle and a masculine throat-clearing.’
    • ‘The bell jangled against the door as it opened and in walked a handsome boy, dark with black hair.’
    • ‘The warden gestured to the right hand door, jangling his keys in an effort to find the correct one.’
    • ‘The side door bell jangled alarmingly, and Cook was roused from her place by the fire. A caller?’
    • ‘A minute later, the door opened, causing the bell above it to jangle.’
    • ‘They'd started moving downwards when the sounds of shouting, feet, and equipment jangling drifted up.’
    • ‘The sound of keys jangling caught her attention.’
    • ‘Kathryn have me one of her very popular side hugs and said thanks for lunch before skipping out the door, keys jangling in her hand at her side.’
    • ‘As she fingered through them, searching for the one that would unlock the main door, the keys jangled, causing Rena to surreptitiously look around.’
    • ‘Their necks and chests were glinting in gold and their wrists jangled loudly with even more jewelry.’
    clank, clink, jingle, tinkle, ding, ping, clang, clash, clatter, rattle, vibrate, ring, chime
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    1. 1.1with object (with reference to nerves) set on edge.
      ‘a thirty-eight point game that jangled the nerves’
      • ‘But with the visitors frustrating their illustrious opponents and Milan's nerves jangling, the league leaders were awarded a dubious spot-kick four minutes from the end when Empoli goalkeeper Daniele Balli collided with Jon Dahl Tomasson.’
      • ‘Darren Dyer and Carl Biggins gave Slingsby a comfortable lead at the break although Phil Marwood pulled a goal back to set a few nerves jangling in the second half.’
      • ‘Some owls screech and scream their heads off, setting your teeth on edge and jangling your nerves.’
      • ‘I turned into a total wreck and it got so bad that my nerves began jangling on a Wednesday, three days before a game.’
      • ‘The players know it is a prerequisite for holding down a regular place which is why nerves were probably jangling on Wednesday, with the occasion and the atmosphere providing so many ready distractions.’
      grate on, jar on, irritate, disturb, assault, fray, rasp, put on edge, set on edge, shred, rub raw, test, rattle, stretch tight, wreak havoc on
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  • A ringing metallic sound.

    ‘the jangle of a telephone’
    • ‘A jangle of locks being unlocked sounded and then the gate jerked open.’
    • ‘Kestilas voice floated through to him through the wooden door, the brown haired boy standing and causing a creak in the floorboards and a jangle of springs as he climbed into bed.’
    • ‘Then came the first of several magical moments that blew any notion of Young not being in complete control of his art and music as he sat down and blew us away with the acoustic jangle and buzz of Bandit.’
    • ‘It was soon interrupted by the harsh jangle of the telephone, which I let ring until Quinn shouted for me to pick it up.’
    • ‘Cute harmonies sit atop an orchestrated jangle of guitars and multi-layered harmonies and you just end being spun into their world of indie-reborn - a world for those really interested in music.’
    clank, clanking, clink, clinking, chink, chinking, jangling, jingle, jingling, clash, clashing, clang, clanging, rattle, rattling, clangour
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Middle English (in the sense ‘talk excessively or noisily, squabble’): from Old French jangler, of unknown origin.