unravel Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “unravel” in the English Dictionary

"unravel" in British English

See all translations


uk   us   /ʌnˈræv.əl/ (-ll- or US usually -l-)

unravel verb (CLOTH)

[I or T] If a ​piece of knitted or wovencloth, a ​knot, or a ​mass of ​thread unravels, it ​separates into a ​singlethread, and if you unravel it, you ​separate it into a ​singlethread: You'd ​bettermend that ​hole before the ​wholesweaterstarts to unravel. I had to unravel one of the ​sleeves because I ​realized I'd ​knitted it too ​small.

unravel verb (SUBJECT)

[I or T] If you unravel a ​mysterious, ​unknown, or ​complicatedsubject, you make it ​known or ​understood, and if it unravels, it ​becomesknown or ​understood: We have a ​long way to go before we unravel the ​secrets of ​genetics.

unravel verb (PROCESS)

[I, T usually passive] If a ​process or ​achievement that was ​slow and ​complicated unravels or is unravelled, it is ​destroyed: As ​talks between the ​leadersbroke down, several ​months of ​carefuldiplomacy were unravelled.
(Definition of unravel from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"unravel" in American English

See all translations


 us   /ʌnˈræv·əl/ (-l-, -ll-)

unravel verb (SEPARATE)

[I/T] (of ​wovencloth) to ​separate into ​threads, or to ​separate the ​fibers of a ​thread, ​rope, or ​cloth: [I] My ​sweater is unraveling. [I] fig. The ​movie unraveled at the end (= was not ​complete and ​satisfying).

unravel verb (SOLVE)

[T] to ​solve a ​crime or ​explain a ​mystery: You will ​discover what the ​titlemeans as you unravel the movie's ​mysteries.
(Definition of unravel from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of unravel?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“unravel” in British English

“unravel” in American English

Word of the Day


showing no fear of dangerous or difficult things

Word of the Day

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
by Colin McIntosh,
December 01, 2015
Are you a fan of shows like Doctor Who and Star Trek? Both shows have been around since the 1960s, and, not surprisingly, have generated some of their own vocabulary, some of which has now entered the Cambridge English Dictionary. The phenomenon of fandom, meaning “the state of being a fan of

Read More 

conversational user interface noun
conversational user interface noun
November 30, 2015
a computer interface that provides information to users in normal, conversational speech in response to spoken requests Nearly every major tech company—from Amazon to Intel to Microsoft to Google—is chasing the sort of conversational user interface that Kaplan and his colleagues at PARC imagined decades ago.

Read More