• WordNet 3.6
    • v ravel tangle or complicate "a ravelled story"
    • v ravel disentangle "can you unravel the mystery?"
    • n ravel a row of unravelled stitches "she got a run in her stocking"
    • n Ravel French composer and exponent of Impressionism (1875-1937)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ravel To become untwisted or unwoven; to be disentangled; to be relieved of intricacy.
    • Ravel To fall into perplexity and confusion. "Till, by their own perplexities involved,
      They ravel more, still less resolved."
    • Ravel To make investigation or search, as by picking out the threads of a woven pattern. "The humor of raveling into all these mystical or entangled matters."
    • Ravel 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?"
      "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!"
    • Ravel 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."
    • Ravel To undo the intricacies of; to disentangle.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • ravel To tangle; entangle; entwine confusedly; involve in a tangled or knotted mass, as thread or hair mingled together loosely.
    • ravel Hence To involve; perplex; confuse.
    • ravel To treat confusedly; jumble; muddle.
    • ravel To disentangle; disengage the threads or fibers of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, a mass of tangled hair, etc.); draw apart thread by thread; unravel: commonly with out: in this sense (the exact contrary of the first sense), originally with out, ravel out being equivalent to unravel.
    • ravel To become entangled or snarled, as the ends of loose and dangling threads, or a mass of loose hair.
    • ravel Hence To become involved or confused; fall into perplexity.
    • ravel To curl up, as a hard-twisted thread.
    • ravel To become untwisted or disjoined, as the outer threads of a loosely made fabric or the strands of a rope; become disjoined thread by thread; fray, as a garment at the edges: commonly with out.
    • ravel Hence To suffer gradual disintegration or decay.
    • ravel To make a minute and careful examination in order to straighten what is confused, unfold what is hidden, or clear up what is obscure; investigate; search; explore.
    • n ravel A raveled thread; a raveling.
    • n ravel plural The broken threads cast away by women at their needlework.
    • n ravel In weaving, a serrated instrument for guiding the separate yarns when being distributed and wound upon the yarn-beam of a loom, or for guiding the yarns wound on a balloon; an evener; a separator.
    • n ravel Also, in Scotch spelling, raivel.
    • ravel Same as rabble.
    • n ravel A snarl; a complication.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Ravel rav′el to confuse, entangle: to untwist or unweave: to unravel (in this sense usually with out)
    • v.i Ravel to be untwisted or unwoven: to become entangled: to search (with into):—pr.p. rav′elling; pa.t. and pa.p. rav′elled
    • n Ravel a ravelled thread
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OD. ravelen, D. rafelen, akin to LG. rebeln, rebbeln, reffeln,


In literature:

Mark all notches with basting thread, tailor's chalk, or notch the goods if it does not ravel.
"Textiles and Clothing" by Kate Heintz Watson
Press it with a hot iron, and then ravel it out.
"A Treatise on Domestic Economy" by Catherine Esther Beecher
Tie a knot in each end, and ravel the ends of raffia to form a tassel.
"Construction Work for Rural and Elementary Schools" by Virginia McGaw
A by-stander, who had very little faith in our hero, caught at the ravelling thus dropped.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 122, December, 1867" by Various
If you are not able to match the wool for a darn, it is a good plan to use the ravelings of the stuff itself.
"How Girls Can Help Their Country" by Juliette Low
In dry climates, a layer six inches thick will be adequate if it can be kept from raveling.
"American Rural Highways" by T. R. Agg
J. M. Ravel's "Rhapsodie Espagnole" given by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
"Annals of Music in America" by Henry Charles Lahee
I was afraid to use violence for fear of breaking it, or ravelling it through.
"The Vast Abyss" by George Manville Fenn
The thick darkness carries with it Rain and a ravel of cloud.
"Some Imagist Poets" by Richard Aldington
These are Chabrier, Faure, Duparc, Chausson and Ravel.
"Music: An Art and a Language" by Walter Raymond Spalding

In poetry:

“Is there a ravelled riddle left
That you would have undone?
What other doubts are there to sift?”
I answered — “None.”
"Doubting" by Henry Kendall
The shattered storm has left its trace
Upon this huge and heaving dome,
For the thin threads of yellow foam
Float on the waves like ravelled lace.
"La Mer" by Oscar Wilde
The cloud above put on its blackest frown,
And then, as with a vengeful cry of pain,
The lightning snatched it, ripped and flung it down
In ravelled shreds of rain:
"The Shower" by James Whitcomb Riley
For if I sinned and fell, where lies the Gain
Of Knowledge? Would it ease you of your Pain
To know the tangled Threads of Revenue,
I ravel deeper in a hopeless Skein?
"The Rupaiyat of Omar Kal'vin" by Rudyard Kipling
The leaves are all dead on the group,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.
"Reluctance" by Robert Frost
One part in the middle of the web begun and left unfinished;
a face with ravelled threads falling over it and hiding it. Love says
that the time has come to resume and finish this part of the web,
though much has come between since it was begun.
"Last Love [Canzone]" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

In news:

Enjoy this video of Chad Hoopes performing Ravel 's Tzigane at the MacPhail Center for Music.
Ravel double bill features thoughtful performances, staging.
Freddie Ravel , deep into the keyboard while performing with Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns.
Peters and Ravel are the first American team to win a dressage World Cup Final.
Ravel Rewrites the Record Book and Wins 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup Final for Steffen Peters.
Quintet excels from Ravel to today.
Ravel 's influence was of a different and lesser order.
Philippe Sly Sings Schumann, Ravel , and More.
Charles Dutoit Conducts Stravinsky & Ravel .
"I Am Worn To A Raveling "-- Helen Beatrix Potter (1866-1943).
Conditions at Lexington, Blue Grass Airport, KY. Former coach, TV analyst and NIKE representative George Raveling paid UK a visit after the Cats 25-point blowout win over Tennessee.
Funeral services for Mrs Marion Raveling , 90, of Spencer, will take place at 1:30 pm today, Friday, Oct 3, 2008, at Warner Chapel in Spencer.
Funeral services for Mrs Marion Raveling , 90, of Spencer, will take place at 1:30 pm Friday, Oct 3, 2008, at Warner Chapel in Spencer.
Music by Dvorak, Halvorsen, Pärt, Schnittke, Schumann, Ravel, among others.
Rothko paintings, Brian Blade Fellowship, Terence Blanchard, Beethoven, Ravel, Stravinsky, James Brown.

In science:

Corollary 25 The language of the right normal forms of every left divisibility monoid satis fies both the left and the right directed fellow t raveller properties.
Finite transducers for divisibility monoids