Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

unravel - definition and synonyms

Close
What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close
ThesaurusThesaurus
Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb     unravel pronunciation in American English
/ʌnˈræv(ə)l/
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyunravel
he/she/itunravels
present participleunraveling or unravelling
past tenseunraveled or unravelled
past participleunraveled or unravelled
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if a piece of clothing unravels, or if you unravel it, its fibers become separated from each other
  2. 2
    [transitive] to understand something complicated by thinking about it for a long time

    Police are trying to unravel the mystery of their sudden disappearance.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if a process or project unravels, it begins to fail

    There were worries that the peace process was beginning to unravel.

BuzzWord

moonbow

a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play