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Webster 1913 Edition


Ravel

Rav′el

(răv′’l)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Raveled
(-’ld)
or
Ravelled
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Raveling
or
Ravelling
.]
[OD.
ravelen
, D.
rafelen
, akin to LG.
rebeln
,
rebbeln
,
reffeln
.]
1.
To separate or undo the texture of; to unravel; to take apart; to untwist; to unweave or unknit; – often followed by out;
as, to
ravel
a twist; to
ravel
out a stocking.
Sleep, that knits up the
raveled
sleave of care.
Shakespeare
2.
To undo the intricacies of; to disentangle.
3.
To pull apart, as the threads of a texture, and let them fall into a tangled mass; hence, to entangle; to make intricate; to involve.
What glory’s due to him that could divide
Such
raveled
interests? has the knot untied?
Waller.
The faith of very many men seems a duty so weak and indifferent, is so often untwisted by violence, or
raveled
and entangled in weak discourses!
Jer. Taylor.

Rav′el

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To become untwisted or unwoven; to be disentangled; to be relieved of intricacy.
2.
To fall into perplexity and confusion.
[Obs.]
Till, by their own perplexities involved,
They
ravel
more, still less resolved.
Milton.
3.
To make investigation or search, as by picking out the threads of a woven pattern.
[Obs.]
The humor of
raveling
into all these mystical or entangled matters.
Sir W. Temple.

Webster 1828 Edition


Ravel

RAVEL

,
Verb.
T.
rav'l.
1.
To entangle; to entwist together; to make intricate; to involve; to perplex.
What glory's due to him that could divide such ravel'd inte'rests, has the knot unty'd?
2.
To untwist; to unweave or unknot; to disentangle; as, to ravel out a twist; to ravel out a stocking.
Sleep, that knits up the ravel'd sleeve of care.
3.
to hurry or run over in confusion. [Not in use.]

RAVEL

,
Verb.
I.
rav'l.
1.
To fall into perplexity and confusion.
Till by their own perplexities involv'd, they ravel more, still less resolv'd.
2.
To work in perplexities; to busy one's self with intricacies; to enter by winding and turning.
It will be needless to ravel far into the records of elder times.
The humor of raveling into all these mystical or entangled matters - produced infinite diputes.
3.
To be unwoven.
[As far as my observation extends, ravel, in the United States, is used only in the second sense above, viz. to unweave, to separate the texture of that which is woven or knit; so that ravel and unravel are with us always synonymous. etymology proves this to be the true sense of the word ravel.]

Definition 2022


ravel

ravel

English

Noun

ravel (plural ravels)

  1. a snarl, complication
    • 1927, DH Lawrence, Mornings in Mexico, HTML edition, Project Gutenberg Australia, published 2009:
      The savannah valley is shadeless, spotted only with the thorny ravel of mesquite bushes.

Verb

ravel (third-person singular simple present ravels, present participle ravelling or raveling, simple past and past participle ravelled or raveled)

  1. To tangle; entangle; entwine confusedly, become snarled; thus to involve; perplex; confuse.
    • Waller
      What glory's due to him that could divide / Such ravelled interests?
    • Jeremy Taylor
      The faith of very many men seems a duty so weak and indifferent, is so often untwisted by violence, or ravelled and entangled in weak discourses!
    • 1871, Popular Science News, Volumes 5-7, Digitized edition, published 2011, page 61:
      … and in them are minute glands, which resemble ravelled tubes …
    • 2011 September 10, Martha T. Moore, “After 9/11, dinner gang raises funds to honor those lost”, in USA Today, retrieved 2012-08-24:
      But the real work of the First Thursday Foundation is remembering, and its biggest gift is knitting back together lives raveled by loss.
  2. To undo the intricacies of; to disentangle or clarify.
  3. To pull apart (especially cloth or a seam); unravel.
  4. (computing, programming) In the APL language, to reshape (a variable) into a vector.
    • 1975, Tse-yun Feng, Parallel processing: proceedings of the Sagamore Computer Conference
      LOAD.S loads a sequence of scalars from the ravelled form of a matrix into successive AM elements.
    • 1980, Gijsbert van der Linden, APL 80: International Conference on APL, June 24-26, 1980
      Ravelling is necessary because the execute function in the IBM implementation only accepts charactervectors as argument.

Usage notes

  • The spellings ravelling and ravelled are more common in the UK than in the US.

References

  • Century Dictionary, Vol. VI, Page 4976, ravel
  • Century Dictionary Supplement, Vol. XII, Page 1114, ravel
  • The New Century Dictionary 1952, Volume Two, page 1476, Ravel
  • Online Etymology, ravel

Translations

Anagrams