verb (used with object), unraveled, unraveling or (especially British) unravelled, unravelling.
to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, etc.).
to free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear; solve: to unravel a situation; to unravel a mystery.
Informal. to take apart; undo; destroy (a plan, agreement, or arrangement).
verb (used without object), unraveled, unraveling or (especially British) unravelled, unravelling.
to become unraveled.

1595–1605; un-2 + ravel

unraveler; especially British, unraveller, noun
unravelment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
unravel (ʌnˈrævəl)
vb , (US) -els, -elling, -elled, -els, -eling, -eled
1.  (tr) to reduce (something knitted or woven) to separate strands
2.  (tr) to undo or untangle (something tangled or knotted)
3.  (tr) to explain or solve: the mystery was unravelled
4.  (intr) to become unravelled

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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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from un- (2) + ravel.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Told in detail, their political history is but the unraveling of a tangle of
  faction fights and intrigues.
Using its data, researchers have made giant leaps in unraveling mysteries of
  the universe.
The fox-farm experiment's role in unraveling that complexity is all the more
  remarkable for how it began.
He continues to look up at history unraveling before his eyes.
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