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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.
Origin of dangle
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dangle
  • Two weeks later, he somersaulted and backflipped his way across, occasionally pausing to dangle from the cable by one hand.
  • They dangle the prospect of a long-term ceasefire that might become a lasting peace.
  • Plastic bags holding rice, chilies, and fruit dangle from branches.
  • Lots of kids think hanging a backpack off one shoulder or letting it dangle on long straps looks cool.
  • His own father had never answered his questions, had let them dangle in the air and disappear.
  • And when school lets out, scores of children dangle from the cypress and olive trees.
  • People dangle tea bags over hot water in white cups.
  • The graphics above show thousands of dangle node topology errors before running the script.
  • If you must carry a purse, hold it close and do not dangle it from your arm.
  • dangle legs for a few minutes prior to standing and walking.
British Dictionary definitions for dangle


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 dangle

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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