The opposite of unravel

I’ve been unravelling this week – just some knitting, you understand 😉

It occurred to me that I often “unravel”, but I’ve never used (or even come across) the opposite word “ravel” … So I looked it up to check it exists, and sure enough, “ravel” is both a verb and a noun …

VERB

1. (Ravel something out) Untangle or unravel something.
‘Davy had finished ravelling out his herring net’

2. Unravel; fray.
‘a shirt with a ravelled collar’

3. Confuse or complicate (a question or situation)
‘I’d prefer you to keep your nose out of my business and not ravel things further’

NOUN

A tangle, cluster, or knot.
‘a ravel of knitting’

ORIGIN

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘entangle, confuse’): probably from Dutch ravelen ‘fray out, tangle’.

I have to admit I find the above definition of the verb rather confusing, with its use of the word “unravel” as part of the description. The confusion is appropriate, I suppose 😉

No, “ravel” is not a word I’m going to be using in everyday conversation. How about you?

Have you discovered any new words lately? I’d love to hear about them!

😀

 

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About yarnsmithery

Sharing my love of yarny craft and encouraging others to give it a go!
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3 Responses to The opposite of unravel

  1. catterel says:

    Feeling a bit ravelled this evening … have also been wondering about words like that. There’s probably a fancy name for them – uncouth and unkempt for instance. I feel a post coming on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. swissrose says:

    Well whaddya know…??!!

    I did just hear someone use proliferous when they meant prolific… erm?!

    Like

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