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Definition of the noun dangle

What does dangle mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: dangles

  1. An agent of one intelligence agency or group who pretends to be interested in defecting or turning to another intelligence agency or group.
  2. [slang, ice hockey, lacrosse] The action of dangling; a series of complex stick tricks and fakes in order to defeat the defender in style.

Definition of the verb dangle

What does dangle mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: dangled | dangling | dangles

  1. hang freely
    • examples: the ornaments dangled from the tree | Some big birds dangle in the tree | There dangle some big birds in the tree
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formulaVerbs with the same syntax
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Destination, locative adverb]Cheryl stood the books thereVerbs of Putting: hang, lean, perch, rest, sit, stand, suspend
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Locative Preposition] [Destination]Cheryl stood the books on the shelf
      [Theme - concrete object] [Verb] [Destination, locative adverb]The books lean there
      [Theme - concrete object] [Verb] [Locative Preposition] [Destination]The books lean against the shelf
      there [Verb] [Locative Preposition] [Location] [Theme, indefinite]There stood on the corner a statueVerbs of Existence: balance, bend, bow, crouch, droop, flop, fly, hang, hover, huddle, hunch, jut, kneel, lean, lie, loll, loom, lounge, nestle, open, perch, plop, project, protrude, recline, repose, rest, rise, roost, sag, sit, slope, slouch, slump, sprawl, squat, stand, stoop, straddle, swing, tilt, tower
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Locative Preposition] [Location]They stood the statue on the pedestal
      [Theme - concrete object] [Verb]John slouched
      [Theme - concrete object] [Verb] [Locative Preposition] [Location]The statue stood on the corner
      [Locative Preposition] [Location] [Verb] [Theme]On the pedestal stood a statue
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • synonyms of dangle: drop / swing
    • more generic word: hang = be suspended or hanging
    • more specific words: droop / loll = hang loosely or laxly
  2. cause to dangle or hang freely
    • examples: He dangled the ornaments from the Christmas tree | They dangle the lights from the ceiling
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • more generic word: suspend = hang freely

Alternative definition of the verb dangle


  1. [intransitive] to hang loosely with the ability to swing
  2. [intransitive, slang, ice hockey, lacrosse] the action of performing a move or deke with the puck in order to get past a defender or goalie. Probably from It looks like he's dangling the puck on a string.
  3. [transitive] to hang or trail something loosely


Dangle is a term used in intelligence work to refer to an agent or officer of one intelligence agency or group who pretends to be interested in defecting or turning to another intelligence agency or group.

Phrases with Dangle

  1. dangle-berry
  2. Dingle-Dangle

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Dangle

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Google previewNo Uncertain Terms (2004)

More Writing from the Popular "On Language" Column in The New York Times Magazine by William Safire

Dangle is a Danish verb meaning "to hang so as to swing freely." In its espionage sense, a dangle is like a delicious morsel swung in front of the nose of a slavering animal. The dangle is a tempter, much like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, ...

Google previewCOMMON 3 (2013)

by John S. Budd

” President Dangle is a perfectly round man with disproportionally short legs and long gray hair tied straight back and secured with a red bow.

Google previewTrends in Functional Programming (2007)

by Henrik Nilsson

FuhMishra is a type checker for subtyping, dangle is a small program which generates garbage lists while making a closure to add up to 1000, and life simulates the Game of Life. There are several versions of Knuth-Bendix and life supplied ...

Google previewPrologues, Epilogues, Curtain-raisers, and Afterpieces (2007)

The Rest of the Eighteenth-century London Stage by Daniel James Ennis, Judith Bailey Slagle

Dangle is The Camp's Sir Harry Bouquet (Moody played both parts), Lady Plume, and Lady Gorget all rolled into one: Bored with the theatricality of the encampment at Coxheath, the fashionable return to the theater for the fall season ...

Google previewDictionary of the English Language (Complete and Unabridged) (2011)

by Samuel Johnson

To DANGLE (DA'NGLE) v.n.[from ...

Google previewDictionary of English Etymology (1859)

by Hensleigh Wedgwood (M.A.)

Dangle. Prov. E. to dang, to throw down or strike with violence ; Sw. danga, to bang, thump, knock at a door ; Icel. dengia, to knock, to hammer ; dangl, beating, dangle, to beat, and also as Dan. dingle, Sw. dangla, dingla, Pl. D. dungeln, ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations (2004)

by R. C. S. Trahair

Dangle. A dangle is a secret agent who presents himself as a defector-in-place to pass disinformation to the enemy's secret service. "Dangle" can ...

Google previewOxford English Mini Dictionary (2013)

by Charlotte Buxton

dangle. damned) informal used to emphasize anger. damnation n. & exclam. damnable adj. very bad or unpleasant. damp adj. slightly wet. n. moisture. v.1 make damp. 2 (damp down) control a feeling or situation. dampness n. dampen v .1 ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Dangle

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Usage statistics about dangle

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb dangle:


Photos about Dangle

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Small photo of gold and diamond dangle earringsSmall photo of gold and diamond dangle earringsSmall photo of gold and diamond dangle earringsSmall photo of gold and diamond dangle earringsSmall photo of gold and diamond dangle earringsSmall photo of gold and diamond dangle earringsSmall photo of gold and diamond dangle earrings More...

Video language resources about Dangle

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Sign language

Dingle Dangle Scarecrow - British Sign Language (BSL) and singing

Signs and Sounds runs baby and toddler British Sign Language and singing classes.

Quotes about Dangle

Bicycle summer,
Girls ride across
A moonlight bridge.

Children’s feet dangle
Into warm water,
Small wishes and innocent hearts.

In love with gentle breezes,
I thought I saw Adriana
At her grandfather’s beach house
Smiling with a wine cooler. (Uriah Hamilton)
more quotes about dangle...

Scrabble value of D2A1N1G2L1E1

The value of this 6-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of DANGLE

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