American English

Definition of unravel verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they unravel
    he / she / it unravels
    past simple unraveled ()unravelled
    -ing form unraveling ()unravelling
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] unravel (something) if you unravel threads that are twisted, woven, or knit, or if they unravel, they become separated I unraveled the string and wound it into a ball.
  2. 2[intransitive] (of a system, plan, relationship, etc.) to start to fail or no longer stay together as a whole
  3. 3[transitive, intransitive] unravel (something) to explain something that is difficult to understand or is mysterious; to become clearer or easier to understand The discovery will help scientists unravel the mystery of the Ice Age.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: unravel