v. un·rav·eled, un·rav·el·ing, un·rav·els or un·rav·elled or un·rav·el·ling
a. To undo or ravel the entangled, knitted, or woven threads of: unraveled the sweater.
b. To undo or separate (entangled, knitted, or woven threads).
2. To clarify the elements of (something mysterious or baffling); solve: The detective unraveled the mystery.
3. To cause to fail or become ruined or unfulfilled: Their plans to open a restaurant became unraveled.
1. To become unraveled: The seam unraveled.
2. To fail or become ruined or unfulfilled: His life unraveled after the stock market crash.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.