unravel Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “unravel” in the English Dictionary

"unravel" in British English

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unravelverb

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.
(Definition of unravel from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"unravel" in American English

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unravelverb

 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)
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“unravel” in British English

“unravel” in American English

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