dishevel vs tangle what difference

what is difference between dishevel and tangle



From Old French descheveler (nowadays écheveler)


  • (UK) IPA(key): [dɪ(s)ˈʃɛvəɫ]
  • Rhymes: -ɛvəl


dishevel (third-person singular simple present dishevels, present participle disheveling or dishevelling, simple past and past participle disheveled or dishevelled)

  1. (transitive) To throw into disorder; upheave.
  2. (transitive) To disarrange or loosen (hair, clothing, etc.).
    • 1785, William Cowper, The Garden
      Like the fair flower dishevell’d in the wind.
  3. (intransitive) To spread out in disorder.

Derived terms

  • dishevelment



  • “dishevel”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.


  • he-devils, she-devil



  • IPA(key): /ˈtæŋ.ɡəl/
  • Rhymes: -æŋɡəl

Etymology 1

From Middle English tanglen, probably of North Germanic origin, compare Swedish taggla (to disorder), Old Norse þǫngull, þang (tangle; seaweed), see Etymology 2 below.


tangle (third-person singular simple present tangles, present participle tangling, simple past and past participle tangled)

  1. (intransitive) To become mixed together or intertwined.
    Synonyms: dishevel, tousle
    Antonyms: untangle, unsnarl
  2. (intransitive, figuratively) To enter into an argument, conflict, dispute, or fight.
    Synonyms: argue, conflict, dispute, fight
  3. (transitive) To mix together or intertwine.
    Synonyms: entangle, knot, mat, snarl
  4. (transitive) To catch and hold.
    Synonyms: ensnare, entrap
    • 1646, Richard Crashaw, Steps to the Temple
      When my simple weakness strays, / Tangled in forbidden ways.
Derived terms
  • betangle
  • entangle


tangle (plural tangles)

  1. A tangled twisted mass.
  2. A complicated or confused state or condition.
  3. An argument, conflict, dispute, or fight.
  4. (mathematics) A region of the projection of a knot such that the knot crosses its perimeter exactly four times.
  5. A form of art which consists of sections filled with repetitive patterns.
  • (tangled twisted mass): knot, mess, snarl
  • (complicated or confused state or condition): maze, snarl
  • (argument, conflict, dispute, or fight): argument, conflict, dispute, fight
Derived terms
  • tanglefish (Syngnathus acus)
  • tanglesome

Etymology 2

Of North Germanic origin, such as Danish tang or Swedish tång, from Old Norse þongull, þang. See also Norwegian tongul, Faroese tongul, Icelandic þöngull.


tangle (countable and uncountable, plural tangles)

  1. Any large type of seaweed, especially a species of Laminaria.
    • 1849, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam, 10:
      Than if with thee the roaring wells / Should gulf him fathom-deep in brine; / And hands so often clasped in mine, / Should toss with tangle and with shells.
    • 1917, Kenneth Macleod (editor) “The Road to the Isles”, in Songs of the Hebrides:
      You’ve never smelled the tangle o’ the Isles.
  2. (in the plural) An instrument consisting essentially of an iron bar to which are attached swabs, or bundles of frayed rope, or other similar substances, used to capture starfishes, sea urchins, and other similar creatures living at the bottom of the sea.
  3. (Scotland) Any long hanging thing, even a lanky person.


  • kombu

Further reading

  • tangle in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • tangle in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • tangle at OneLook Dictionary Search


  • gelant, langet, netlag

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