To wrangle is to take part in a long, angry, intense argument, especially over an issue with lots of details. You can also wrangle, or herd, a bunch of cows. Politicians and lawyers frequently wrangle, no cows necessary.

Wrangle in its current meaning comes from the nineteenth century American term wrangling, the art of herding cattle, probably with the idea in mind that rounding up those tiresome details is a bit like rounding up all those tiresome cattle; they tend to go flying off in all directions. From wrangler in the cowboy sense we get Wrangler jeans, though not all wranglers wear Wranglers of course.

Definitions of wrangle
  1. verb
    quarrel noisily, angrily or disruptively
    synonyms: brawl
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    type of:
    altercate, argufy, dispute, quarrel, scrap
    have a disagreement over something
  2. noun
    an instance of intense argument (as in bargaining)
    synonyms: haggle, haggling, wrangling
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    type of:
    the negotiation of the terms of a transaction or agreement
  3. noun
    an angry dispute
    synonyms: dustup, quarrel, row, run-in, words
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    affray, altercation, fracas
    noisy quarrel
    bicker, bickering, fuss, pettifoggery, spat, squabble, tiff
    a quarrel about petty points
    a serious quarrel (especially one that ends a friendship)
    a silly altercation
    type of:
    conflict, difference, difference of opinion, dispute
    a disagreement or argument about something important
  4. verb
    achieve something by means of trickery, argument, or maneuvering
    synonyms: finagle, manage, wangle
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    type of:
    accomplish, achieve, attain, reach
    gain with effort
  5. verb
    herd and care for
    wrangle horses”
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    type of:
    keep, move, or drive animals
Word Family

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