AskDefine | Define unravel

Dictionary Definition



1 become or cause to become undone by separating the fibers or threads of; "the sweater unravelled" [syn: unknot, unscramble, untangle, unpick] [ant: ravel, ravel]
2 disentangle; "can you unravel the mystery?"; "unravel the ball or yarn" [syn: ravel, ravel out]
3 become undone; "the sweater unraveled" [syn: run] [also: unravelling, unravelled]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. to separate the threads (of)
    Stop playing with the seam of the table cloth! You will unravel it.
    Mother couldn't unravel the ball of wool anymore after the cat had played with it.

Usage notes

unraveling and unraveled are primarily US while unravelling and unravelled are primarily UK.


Extensive Definition

"Unravel" is the third song on the album Homogenic by Björk, which was released in 1997.
The song features a prominent example of Björk's use of a half-singing, half-speaking technique which, according to folklore specialist Njall Sigurason, is comparable to that of Old Icelandic choir-men.
Structurally, the song is made up of a slowly sweeping melody, strings and distant-sounding electronic beats.


Even though "Unravel" was not released as a single, a video was made to promote Björk's Greatest Hits Tour. The video won a silver prize at the 2004 D&AD Awards, an event recognizing annual achievements in design and advertising.

Other artists

In a 2006 interview with Spin magazine, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke named "Unravel" as his favourite song ever, and said, "I'm trying to get Radiohead to do a cover because I think it's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard." On November 8, 2007, Radiohead performed a cover of the song as part of their webcast.
A cover of "Unravel" appears on folk rock artist Okkervil River's split CD Sham Wedding/Hoax Funeral, as well as the Japanese import version of alternative rock band Something Corporate's album North.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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