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ravel

[rav-uh l] /ˈræv əl/
verb (used with object), raveled, raveling or (especially British) ravelled, ravelling.
1.
to disentangle or unravel the threads or fibers of (a woven or knitted fabric, rope, etc.).
2.
to tangle or entangle.
3.
to involve; confuse; perplex.
4.
to make clear; unravel (often followed by out).
verb (used without object), raveled, raveling or (especially British) ravelled, ravelling.
5.
to become disjoined thread by thread or fiber by fiber; fray.
6.
to become tangled.
7.
to become confused or perplexed.
8.
(of a road surface) to lose aggregate.
noun
9.
a tangle or complication.
Origin
1575-1585
1575-85; < Dutch rafelen
Related forms
raveler; especially British, raveller, noun
ravelly, adjective

Ravel

[ruh-vel; French ra-vel] /rəˈvɛl; French raˈvɛl/
noun
1.
Maurice Joseph
[moh-rees zhaw-zef] /moʊˈris ʒɔˈzɛf/ (Show IPA),
1875–1937, French composer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ravel

ravel

/ˈrævəl/
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
1.
to tangle (threads, fibres, etc) or (of threads, fibres, etc) to become entangled
2.
(often foll by out) to tease or draw out (the fibres of a fabric or garment) or (of a garment or fabric) to fray out in loose ends; unravel
3.
(transitive) usually foll by out. to disentangle or resolve: to ravel out a complicated story
4.
to break up (a road surface) in patches or (of a road surface) to begin to break up; fret; scab
5.
(archaic) to make or become confused or complicated
noun
6.
a tangle or complication
Derived Forms
raveller, noun
ravelly, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Middle Dutch ravelen

Ravel

/French ravɛl/
noun
1.
Maurice (Joseph) (mɔris). 1875–1937, French composer, noted for his use of unresolved dissonances and mastery of tone colour. His works include Gaspard de la Nuit (1908) and Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917) for piano, Boléro (1928) for orchestra, and the ballet Daphnis et Chloé (1912)
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 ravel
v.

1580s, "to untangle, disentangle, unwind" (originally with out), also "to entangle, become tangled or confused," from Dutch ravelen "to tangle, fray," rafelen "to unweave," from rafel "frayed thread." The seemingly contradictory senses of this word (ravel and unravel are both synonyms and antonyms) are reconciled by its roots in weaving and sewing: as threads become unwoven, they get tangled.

n.

1630s, "a tangle;" 1832, "a broken thread," from ravel (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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