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[dang-guh l] /ˈdæŋ gəl/
verb (used without object), dangled, dangling.
to hang loosely, especially with a jerking or swaying motion:
The rope dangled in the breeze.
to hang around or follow a person, as if seeking favor or attention.
Grammar. to occur as a modifier without a head or as a participle without an implied subject, as leaving the tunnel in The daylight was blinding, leaving the tunnel.
verb (used with object), dangled, dangling.
to cause to dangle; hold or carry swaying loosely.
to offer as an inducement.
the act of dangling.
something that dangles.
keep someone dangling, to keep someone in a state of uncertainty.
1580-90; expressive word akin to Norwegian, Swedish dangla, Danish dangle dangle
Related forms
dangler, noun
danglingly, adverb
1. swing, sway, flap. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dangled
  • It dived, and when it surfaced, a four-foot caiman dangled from its mouth.
  • If he had dangled the pen from a string, it would have hung at a ninety-degree angle with respect to the tilted floor.
  • My empty stocking dangled above the space heater from a clothesline shimmering with silver icicles.
  • Yellow sale tags dangled not only from the clothes and accessories but also from the register counter itself.
  • When he started to sob, he said, one of the officers dangled a bag of cocaine and threatened to frame him.
  • But two years later, the end dangled in plain sight.
  • The one secured anchor line dangled over the roof edge following the incident.
  • If no live food is available, a carnivorous insect sometimes may be tempted to accept a piece of raw meat dangled from a thread.
  • He was yanked thirty-five feet into the air, where he dangled strangling for nine minutes and four seconds.
  • He had a barely perceptible, light brown groove on the right corner of his mouth where his cigarette dangled.
British Dictionary definitions for dangled


to hang or cause to hang freely: his legs dangled over the wall
(transitive) to display as an enticement: the hope of a legacy was dangled before her
the act of dangling or something that dangles
Derived Forms
dangler, noun
danglingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Danish dangle, probably of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dangled



1590s, probably from Scandinavian (cf. Danish dangle, Swedish dangla "to swing about," Norwegian dangla), perhaps via North Frisian dangeln. Related: Dangled; dangling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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