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Perhaps of Scandinavian origin, akin to Danish dingle.


  • IPA(key): /ˈdæŋ.ɡəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æŋɡəl


dangle (third-person singular simple present dangles, present participle dangling, simple past and past participle dangled)

  1. (intransitive) To hang loosely with the ability to swing.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hudibras and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      He'd rather on a gibbet dangle / Than miss his dear delight, to wrangle.
    • 1864, Alfred Tennyson, “(please specify the poem)”, in Enoch Arden, &c., London: Edward Moxon & Co., [], OCLC 879237670:
      From her lifted hand / Dangled a length of ribbon.
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
      Like most human activities, ballooning has sponsored heroes and hucksters and a good deal in between. For every dedicated scientist patiently recording atmospheric pressure and wind speed while shivering at high altitudes, there is a carnival barker with a bevy of pretty girls willing to dangle from a basket or parachute down to earth.
    His feet would dangle in the water.
  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; perhaps because of the resemblance to dangling the puck on a string.
    He dangled around three players and the goalie to score.
  3. (transitive) To hang or trail something loosely.
    I like to sit on the edge and dangle my feet in the water.
  4. (intransitive, dated) To trail or follow around.
    • 1833, Miller's Modern Acting Drama
      To dangle at the elbow of a wench who can't make up her mind to accept the common title of wife, till she has been courted a certain number of weeks — so the old blinker, her father, says.
  5. (medicine, intransitive) Of a patient: to be positioned with the legs hanging over the edge of the bed.
    • 1976, R. Winifred Heyward Johnson, ‎Douglass W. Johnson, Introduction to Nursing Care (page 139)
      Record the time and duration of dangling, patient's pulse and respirations and patient's general tolerance of the procedure. [] The next step usually in getting the patient out of bed is sitting []
    • 2012, Judith M. Wilkinson, ‎Leslie S. Treas, Pocket Nursing Skills: What You Need to Know Now
      [P]ivot to bring the patient's legs over the side of the bed. Be Smart! Stay with the patient as he dangles.
  6. (medicine, transitive) To position (a patient) in this way.
    • 2012, Judith M. Wilkinson, ‎Leslie S. Treas, Pocket Nursing Skills: What You Need to Know Now
      Using proper body mechanics for dangling a patient at the side of the bed.



English Wikipedia has an article on:

dangle (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.
    That was a sick dangle for a great goal!
  3. A dangling ornament or decoration.
    • 1941, Flora Thompson, Over to Candleford:
      So her father wrote to Mrs. Herring, and one day she arrived and turned out to be a little, lean old lady with a dark brown mole on one leathery cheek and wearing a black bonnet decorated with jet dangles, like tiny fishing rods.