tangle

1 [tang-guhl]
verb (used with object), tangled, tangling.
1.
to bring together into a mass of confusedly interlaced or intertwisted threads, strands, or other like parts; snarl.
2.
to involve in something that hampers, obstructs, or overgrows: The bushes were tangled with vines.
3.
to catch and hold in or as if in a net or snare.
verb (used without object), tangled, tangling.
4.
to be or become tangled.
5.
Informal. to come into conflict; fight or argue: I don't want to tangle with him over the new ruling.
noun
6.
a tangled condition or situation.
7.
a tangled or confused mass or assemblage of something.
8.
a confused jumble: a tangle of contradictory statements.
9.
Informal. a conflict; disagreement: He got into a tangle with the governor.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English tangilen, tagilen to entangle < Scandinavian; compare Swedish (dial.) taggla to disarrange

tanglement, noun
tangler, noun
tangly, adverb


8. snarl, net, labyrinth, maze.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

tangle

2 [tang-guhl]
noun
any of several large seaweeds of the genus Laminaria.

Origin:
1530–40; < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse thǫngull strand of tangle, Norwegian tang

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tangle1 (ˈtæŋɡəl)
 
n
1.  a confused or complicated mass of hairs, lines, fibres, etc, knotted or coiled together
2.  a complicated problem, condition, or situation
 
vb (often foll by with)
3.  to become or cause to become twisted together in a confused mass
4.  to come into conflict; contend: to tangle with the police
5.  (tr) to involve in matters which hinder or confuse: to tangle someone in a shady deal
6.  (tr) to ensnare or trap, as in a net
 
[C14 tangilen, variant of tagilen, probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Swedish dialect taggla to entangle]
 
'tanglement1
 
n
 
'tangler1
 
n
 
'tangly1
 
adj

tangle or tangle weed2 (ˈtæŋɡəl)
 
n
alternative names (esp Scot) for oarweed
 
[C16: of Scandinavian origin: compare Danish tang seaweed]
 
tangle weed or tangle weed2
 
n
 
[C16: of Scandinavian origin: compare Danish tang seaweed]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tangle
mid-14c., nasalized variant of tagilen "to involve in a difficult situation, entangle," from a Scand. source (cf. dialectal Swed. taggla "to disorder," O.N. þongull "seaweed"). In ref. to material things, from c.1500. Meaning "to fight with" is Amer.Eng., first recorded 1928. The noun is first
recorded 1615, "a tangled condition." Tanglefoot (1859) was Western Amer.Eng. slang for "strong whiskey."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
If you run the loose end of the cord underneath the knot, the tangle will come undone.
The place is a tangle of lips and tongues and hands, all groping and exploring.
He swiftly set to work to straighten out the tangle and give the firm's best
  bits some breathing room.
Also found were an ax with a copper blade, two arrows, and a tangle of string.
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