• WordNet 3.6
    • v unravel become undone "the sweater unraveled"
    • v unravel become or cause to become undone by separating the fibers or threads of "unravel the thread"
    • v unravel disentangle "can you unravel the mystery?"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A "clue" originally meant a ball of thread. This is why one is said to "unravel" the clues of a mystery.
    • Unravel Hence, to clear from complication or difficulty; to unfold; to solve; as, to unravel a plot.
    • v. i Unravel To become unraveled, in any sense.
    • Unravel To disentangle; to disengage or separate the threads of; as, to unravel a stocking.
    • Unravel To separate the connected or united parts of; to throw into disorder; to confuse. "Art shall be conjured for it, and nature all unraveled ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • unravel To disentangle or separate, as threads; especially, to take out the threads of (textile material). See ravel.
    • unravel To clear from complication or difficulty; unriddle; unfold.
    • unravel To separate the connected or united parts of; throw into disorder.
    • unravel To unfold or bring to a denouement, as the plot or intrigue of a play.
    • unravel To be unfolded; be disentangled.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Unravel un-rav′el to take out of a ravelled state: to unfold or explain: to separate
    • v.i Unravel to be disentangled.—adj Unrav′elable
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1st pref. un-,intensive) + ravel,


In literature:

The mystery seems to be unravelled.
"William Lloyd Garrison" by Archibald H. Grimke
The good God will unravel the snarl.
"The Goose Girl" by Harold MacGrath
Mystery, you know, is intolerable to a woman, except in the unravelling.
"Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall" by Charles Major
The tangled thread has begun to unravel.
"The Redemption of David Corson" by Charles Frederic Goss
There was not the slightest clue by which the mystery could be unravelled.
"Hatchie, the Guardian Slave; or, The Heiress of Bellevue" by Warren T. Ashton
He even lagged in his avowed intention to unravel the mystery or die in the attempt.
"The Daughter of Anderson Crow" by George Barr McCutcheon
He is engaged in unravelling the manner and cause of poor Alan's death.
"The Stowmarket Mystery" by Louis Tracy
Before the sun went down he succeeded, and made a wick by unraveling a few strands of wool from his jersey.
"The Wings of the Morning" by Louis Tracy
The plot of this piece our literary reviewer has expressed himself unable to unravel.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, September 5, 1841" by Various
It seems, however, that I am now, at your request, to unravel the business.
"A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, Or The Causes Of Corrupt Eloquence" by Cornelius Tacitus

In poetry:

He holds the tangled threads,
His hands unravel them;
He knows the hearts and heads
For thorns, or diadem.
""To-Morrows"" by Abram Joseph Ryan
Eye of God's word! where'er we turn
Ever upon us! thy keen gaze
Can all the depths of sin discern,
Unravel every bosom's maze:
"St. Bartholomew" by John Keble
Who, creeping from her lonely couch,
Unraveled all the slender wool;
Or, with a torch, she climbed the towers,
To fire the fagots on the roof!
"Before The Mirror" by Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard
Left you a lover in that far land,
O Karen sad, that you pine so long?
Would I could unravel and understand
That sorrowful, sweet Norwegian song!
"Karen" by Celia Laighton Thaxter
Thy searching spirit sees departed ages,
Ages in embryo—ages veil'd in darkness,
Present and future—all alike unravell'd:—
I am but blindness.
"Winter: Saturday Evening" by John Bowring
And have you come from Heaven to earth?
That were a road of little mirth,
A doleful travel.
"Why did I come?" you seem to cry,
But that's a riddle you and I
Can scarce unravel.
"To A New-Born Child" by William Cosmo Monkhouse

In news:

The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen looked to be just another exploitation of Sheen's mental and physical unraveling.
Socorro,TX — A big shake-up continues to unravel in Socorro.
SOCORRO, TX — A big shake-up continues to unravel in Socorro.
Scientists trying to unravel the mystery of life's origins have been looking at it the wrong way, a new study argues.
UN- backed Syria truce unravels as violence continues.
Douglas Brinkley authoring 'The Unraveled Tales of Bob Dylan '.
Unraveling The Mystery Of Car Dealer 's Disappearance, Secretly, In Open Court.
Full-color printed flexible plastic, complete with handles that look like the tape is unraveling (didn't you just hate it when that happened.).
Israeli coalition unravels as centrist Kadima party quits over draft dispute.
Andrew Kuo unravels the latest web of relationships.
Archaeologists are working to unravel the mysteries behind historical human remains and artifacts found at Mission San Juan.
Stanberry was a psychiatrist who resisted the trend toward medication only, and instead concentrated on careful listening and helping his patients unravel their problems.
Unraveling Medical Marijuana Public Opinion in Colorado.
The legislature opted in October to raid the South Carolina Conservation Bank to help pay for schools as the state budget started to unravel in a weak economy.
MARIN Unravels Secrets of Wave Added Resistance .

In science:

Weak versus strong electroweak symmetry breaking To unravel the nature of electroweak symmetry breaking, it is not sufficient to find a ‘Higgslike’ resonance and to measure mass and spin.
Summary & Outlook: Particles and Cosmology
One main focus of Deep Inelastic Scattering (DIS) lies in the task of unraveling the spin content of the nucleon, whose spin quantum number is 1/2.
Spin Physics: Session Summary
It is of great importance to test this modified universality (sign change), in order to unravel fundamental dynamics in strong interaction physics and the novel aspects of nucleon structure involved in these processes.
Test of the Universality of Naive-time-reversal-odd Fragmentation Functions
Though such observations begin to unravel relations between the gas and star formation activity (e.g., Bigiel et al. 2008), the linear resolution (a few hundred parsecs) and sensitivity (∼ 1021 cm−2 ) are far from adequate.
Working Group Summary - Local Universe
As the LHC explores a new energy frontier, the importance of flavour physics will grow still further, in searches for signatures of new physics through precision measurements and/or in helping to unravel the theoretical framework behind direct discoveries of new particles.
Review of lattice results concerning low energy particle physics