disentangle

When you disentangle something, you free it from a snarl or tangle. If you have long hair and pierced ears, you've probably had to disentangle an earring from a curl of hair.

Something that becomes tangled or twisted needs someone to disentangle it — you might disentangle your kitten from a length of yarn, or disentangle your jacket from a thorny bush when you're hiking through the woods. You can also disentangle someone figuratively, helping them get out of an uncomfortable or difficult situation. Tangle is at the heart of disentangle, from the fourteenth century word tagilen, "to involve in a difficult situation."

Definitions of disentangle
  1. verb
    separate the tangles of
    synonyms: unwind
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    types:
    roll out, straighten
    straighten by unrolling
    uncoil
    unwind or untwist
    type of:
    undo
    cancel, annul, or reverse an action or its effect
  2. verb
    extricate from entanglement
    “Can you disentangle the cord?”
    synonyms: straighten out, unsnarl
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    Antonyms:
    entangle, mat, snarl, tangle
    twist together or entwine into a confusing mass
    types:
    loosen, tease, tease apart
    disentangle and raise the fibers of
    ravel, ravel out, unravel
    disentangle
    type of:
    order
    bring order to or into
  3. verb
    free from involvement or entanglement
    “How can I disentangle myself from her personal affairs?”
    synonyms: disembroil, disinvolve
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    type of:
    discharge, free
    free from obligations or duties
  4. verb
    release from entanglement of difficulty
    synonyms: disencumber, extricate, untangle
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    type of:
    disengage, free
    free or remove obstruction from
  5. verb
    smoothen and neaten with or as with a comb
    synonyms: comb, comb out
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    types:
    sleek down, slick, slick down
    give a smooth and glossy appearance
    fluff, tease
    ruffle (one's hair) by combing the ends towards the scalp, for a full effect
    type of:
    groom, neaten
    care for one's external appearance
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