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[jang-guh l] /ˈdʒæŋ gəl/
verb (used without object), jangled, jangling.
to produce a harsh, discordant sound, as two comparatively small, thin, or hollow pieces of metal hitting together:
The charms on her bracelet jangle as she moves.
to speak angrily; wrangle.
verb (used with object), jangled, jangling.
to cause to make a harsh, discordant, usually metallic sound:
He jangled the pots and pans.
to cause to become irritated or upset:
The loud noise of the motors jangled his nerves.
a harsh or discordant sound.
an argument, dispute, or quarrel.
Origin of jangle
1250-1300; Middle English janglen < Old French jangler < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch jangelen to haggle, whine
Related forms
jangler, noun
jangly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for jangle
Historical Examples
  • A jangle as of dungeon chains clanked heavily from each fresh revolution of its progress.

    Rainy Week Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • Then the jangle of voices took on a new and distinct note of unanimity.

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • Would all be changed and chill, and the old music of their past be silence, or at best the jangle of a broken chord?

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
  • There was the jangle of harness and bells; the clop-clop of hoofs, rising to a clatter.

    Nights in London Thomas Burke
  • For jangle that one never so fast, that other is never the wiser, though he shrew him instead of 'good-morrow'!

  • In this jangle of causes and effects what had become of their true selves?

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • They cannot sing, but clink and jangle with as much intensity and individual satisfaction as if gifted with peerless note.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • The jangle of the bell in the engine-room would now interrupt him.

  • Next a clash and jangle of metal, that meant his sword-belt with its accoutrements flung on the table.

    Helmet of Navarre Bertha Runkle
  • The jangle of little bells—the goatherds were going out of the city!

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
British Dictionary definitions for jangle


to sound or cause to sound discordantly, harshly, or unpleasantly: the telephone jangled
(transitive) to produce a jarring effect on: the accident jangled his nerves
an archaic word for wrangle
a harsh, unpleasant ringing noise
an argument or quarrel
Derived Forms
jangler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French jangler, of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch jangelen to whine, complain
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 jangle

c.1300, jangeln, "to talk excessively, chatter, talk idly," from Old French jangler "to chatter, gossip, bawl, argue noisily" (12c.), perhaps from Frankish *jangelon "to jeer" or some other Germanic source (cf. Middle Dutch jangelen "to whine"). Meaning "make harsh noise" is first recorded late 15c. Related: Jangled; jangling.


late 13c., "gossip, slanderous conversation, dispute," from Old French jangle, from jangler (see jangle (v.)). Meaning "discordant sound" is from 1795.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jangle


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The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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