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tangle up

1. To become tangled. I store each strand of Christmas lights in a separate bag so they don't all tangle up.
2. To entangle or ensnare someone or something in something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tangle" and "up," and the phrase is often followed by "in (something)." You have so many knots that I can't help but tangle the brush up in your hair. Spiders try to tangle up their prey in their webs.
3. To involve or entrap oneself or someone in something, such as an issue, problem, or scandal. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tangle" and "up," and the phrase is often followed by "in/with (something)." The best politicians choose their battles wisely and avoid becoming too tangled up in petty debates. My brother has tangled me up with a number of lawsuits to keep me from accessing our late father's estate.
See also: tangle, up

tangle with (someone or something)

To fight, argue, or engage in a dispute with someone or something. I wouldn't tangle with them if I were you. They've got so much money that you'll never stand a chance in court. My brother always had a habit of tangling with kids much bigger than him. Trust me, she is not one to tangle with.
See also: tangle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

tangle someone or something up

to entangle someone or something. Please don't tangle me up in your ropes. I tangled up my feet in the cords on the floor.
See also: tangle, up

tangle with someone or something (over someone or something)

to battle against someone or something about someone or something. Tim tangled with Karen over the children. I hope I don't have to tangle with the bank over this loan. I don't want to tangle with city hall.
See also: tangle
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tangle up

1. To mix something together or intertwine it in a confused mass; snarl something: I accidentally tangled that rope up with the others. You've tangled up all the paper clips and now I can't separate them. The telephone cord is tangled up in a knot.
2. To catch and hold something in or as if in a net; entrap something: The children tangled the kite up in the branches. I tangled up the fishing lure as I was pulling it through the weeds. A dolphin became tangled up in the fishing net.
3. To involve someone in awkward or unsavory circumstances. Used chiefly in the passive: How did a good kid like you get tangled up with criminals? No politician would want to be tangled up in this sordid affair.
See also: tangle, up

tangle with

To enter into argument, dispute, or conflict with someone or something: The tenants were afraid to tangle with their landlord's expensive lawyers.
See also: tangle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

tangle with someone/something

in. to quarrel or fight with someone or something. It’s like tangling with a grizzly.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
How does Tangle position in comparison with other blockchain-based products?
Tangle Creations is the evolution of Tangle Toys, a company that began 38 years ago and was founded on the concept of Creativity for All." With the success of the Original Tangle Sculpture, Richard X.
Blockchain and the Tangle are both in the early stages of development, so we are only starting to see the potential.
To create more rich tangle patterns, we will continue to fill some graphics in the blank area.
The current study demonstrated that not only stroke risk, but also the burden of plaques and tangles, as measured by a UCLA brain scan, may influence cognitive decline.
In this section, we describe the tangle decomposition of a (3 + 1)-free poset.
The unconventional Tangle Teezer hairbrush incorporates around 400 teeth arranged in a unique configuration with a specific design.
Tangle's bad leg had been acting up and his hip ached.
CHICAGO -- An experimental drug designed to attack neurofibrillary tau tangles significantly improved some measures of memory among patients with mild cognitive impairment, although it failed to meet its primary cognitive end point.
Tangle is original and innovative, part of its charm the blend of the familiar with the unknown.
The sheet web of Achaearanea tesselata (Keyserling 1884), in contrast, consists of a three-dimensional aerial tangle, containing a centrally located retreat for the spider and a tightly woven, more or less horizontal sheet near its lower edge (Eberhard 1972; see Benjamin & Zschokke 2003: fig.
of the Oldest Man, and Tangle's guiding serpent--are described as
Chinese customs authorities have banned the import of 900 kilograms of tangle from Japan, on grounds that the Japanese seaweed contains mercury residues that exceed China's safety standards, the Chinese media said Tuesday.
Uncrushed sprue runners or castings can tangle, which causes jamming in the charge handling equipment.
Eventually, they gravitate to a downed tangle of tree limbs (sculpted by Judd Weisberg); later, he hoists the tangle in a slippery epiphany of fitful stasis.