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Perhaps of Scandinavian origin, akin to Danish dingle.



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.
    • Hudibras
      He'd rather on a gibbet dangle / Than miss his dear delight, to wrangle.
    • Tennyson
      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.



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.