v. wran·gled, wran·gling, wran·gles
1. To quarrel noisily or angrily. See Synonyms at argue.
a. To grasp and maneuver something.
b. To attempt to deal with or understand something; contend or struggle: "In the lab ... students wrangle with the nature of discovery" (Laura Pappano).
1. To win or obtain by argument: wrangle a free ticket to a show.
a. To manage or herd (horses or cattle).
b. To manage or control (something, especially an animal), as on a movie set: wrangled the snakes that were used in the horror movie.
3. To grasp and maneuver (something); wrestle: "the especially agile ironworkers whose task was to snatch steel from the sky as it came sailing in on the boom of the derrick, then wrangle it into the building's frame" (Jim Rasenberger).
1. The act of wrangling.
2. An angry, noisy argument or dispute.
[Middle English wranglen, of Middle Low German origin; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. V., tr., sense 2, back-formation from wrangler, cowhand in charge of horses, horse herder.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.