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tangled web

A convoluted situation usually caused by some form of deception. The investigation revealed a tangled web of fraud among the members of the political party.
See also: tangled, web

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 unfortunately. 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

tangled up with (someone or something)

Involved, embroiled, or entrapped with someone or something that proves to be awkward, difficult, or troublesome. I don't know why I ever got tangled up with them—they've only gotten me in trouble! His money is all tangled up with some dodgy investment firm.
See also: tangled, 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

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

a tangled web

A tangled web is a situation that is very confused and difficult to understand. This is only one of a series of troubling questions that are emerging from the tangled web of evidence connected to the case. It is sometimes difficult to cut through the tangled web of government information in order to work out the benefits you can claim.
See also: tangled, web

a tangled web

a complex, difficult, and confusing situation or thing.
This phrase comes from Sir Walter Scott 's epic poem Marmion ( 1808 ); ‘O what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!’
See also: tangled, web

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
References in periodicals archive ?
The data also revealed that any cord longer than 46 centimeters it will turn into a tangled ball of doom, but at 150cm it hits the maximum possible probability of tangling at 50 per cent.
Tangled feels a little rushed in places and the game can be completed quickly.
And though a dark, handsome stranger breaks into her lair and helps her escape Mother Gothel's grip, Tangled is not really a romance but a personal adventure about following your dreams and going out on your own.
All smiles: Myleene Klass and daughter Ava arrive at the screening of Tangled.
SEE Disney's new movie Tangled at exclusive free 3D preview screenings, five days before its official UK release on January 28.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE never wrote, "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive' and yet so many people are perfectly willing to believe that he did.
1 : to make tangled or confused <Don't entangle the ropes.
In its hyperphosphorylated state, tau forms tangled fibrils that interfere with neuronal function.
The ticket sale coincides with the release this week of new album Tangled Up.
lobster fishery in the Gulf of Maine could have the better of two worlds: less work to make the same profit and fewer whales dying as a result of getting tangled in lobster gear.
I have just been up to Castle Hill with my brother and sister to try and fly our new kite, but we were told by the ranger that kite flying is no longer allowed due to kites being tangled up in the power cables in the surrounding fields
Meanwhile, if you continue to crank, loose cable winds off the winch drum, gets tangled and binds.
Cheerful faces from a yearbook are traced in red pencil and layered into a delicately tangled mass; the result is a semitransparent cloud of ascended souls hovering against a white picture plane.
Crushing the material to a higher density alleviates concerns about tangled sprue runners in the charge system or furnace charges that don't quite fit into the furnace.