The Meaning of Entanglement: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of entanglement? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word entanglement, including its definition, usage, word origin, examples, and more!

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What does the word entanglement mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word entanglement is a noun that refers to the action of entangling, the state of being entangled, or something that entangles or ensnares, such as dolphins in fishing nets, or a sexual relationship. It can also refer to the condition of being involved in something. 

Entanglement, or quantum entanglement, is also a theory found in physics. According to Quanta Magazine, quantum entanglement is related to the glamorous mystery of quantum theory.  Quantum theory suggests that there are many worlds, but that there are also scientific ideas with down-to-earth meanings and concrete implications. This is a bit of a paradox. Entanglement is sometimes considered a phenomenon that is uniquely present in quantum mechanics, but it is not. It occurs in situations where we have partial knowledge of two different systems.  These systems are called c-ons and q-ons. 

C-ons suggest something classical. Different shapes which are square and circle, which are their possible states, all of equal probability. Then, this means there are four possible joint states of square-square, circle-circle, square-circle, and circle-square. These each have a 25% chance of occuring. States are independent if the knowledge of one state does not give information about the state of the other. If the states are entangled, information about one of them improves our knowledge of the other. This can be further explained by giving the shapes a color, like a blue circle, square shapes with blue colors, a red circle, or red square. The shape of the second or them being different colors are not known cases. Quantum systems are different from conventional entanglement or a classical system and are hard to explain in a concrete physical way. 

Quantum entanglement is the same phenomenon of a lack of independence. However, in quantum theory, a quantum state is described by mathematical objects called wave functions. Molecules are composites of subsystems, namely electrons and nuclei. At its lowest energy state, a molecule is in a highly entangled state of said nuclei and electrons, because the positions of the constituent particles are not independent; the electrons move with the nuclei.

According to Wired, the founder of quantum theory was Erwin Schrödinger who was also the inventor of the Schrödinger cat, with contributions by Boris Podolsky, Niels Bohr, and Nathan Rosen, as well as Daniel Greenberger, Michael Horne and Anton Zeilinger. In recent years, Navalny, Maldacena, and Leonard Susskind of Stanford have an example of a proposal about quantum entanglement. Physicist Albert Einstein once famously derided entanglement as “spukhafte Fernwirkung” or “spooky action at a distance.” This implied that it does not take place in physical reality. To this day, researchers have wrestled with the technical complexities of quantum computing. They find it difficult to maintain superposition and entanglement for long enough to perform useful calculations and actual experiments. There are two famous effects of quantum entanglement, known as the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) and Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) effects. This formulation tries to describe the correlations between particles that interact and then separate. There is an uncertainty in quantum mechanics.

People who study quantum mechanics might study angular momenta, a wormhole, the transmission of information, the concept of entanglement or subtlety of entanglement, great distances, individual properties or components, the speed of light, quantum teleportation, quantum cryptography, probability distribution, entangles particles, elaborate protocol, contradictions, air molecules, inference, independent units, different sorts of measurements, distant experimenters, physical systems, rigorous experiments, a molecule’s lowest energy state, experimental realization, quantum cake, and more. Quantum theory forces people to think outside the box without complete information. Every aspect of quantum theory is complicated with a startling effect. The quantum version of entanglement is highly complicated, with the central concept revolving around separate systems in circular states. To understand the general oddity of quantum theory, one must take one view of physical reality and flip it on its head. It is even difficult to use everyday language when discussing these experimental facts. 

Many different languages also use words that mean entanglement. You may notice that some of these words look or sound similar to each other, or are cognates for each other. This is likely because those words have a common root, or perhaps the languages themselves have the same origin. This list of translations for the word entanglement is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Greek: παλιοκατάσταση‎ (fem.)
  •  Portuguese: apuro‎ (masc.)
  •  Dutch: hachelijke situatie‎
  •  French: situation difficile‎ (fem.), situation délicate‎ (fem.), mauvaise passe‎
  •  Italian: situazione difficile‎ (fem.)
  •  Hungarian: kutyaszorító‎, szorult helyzet‎, baj‎, kellemetlenség‎
  •  Japanese: 窮地‎ (きゅうち, kyūchi)
  •  Swedish: predikament‎ (neut.), obehaglig situation‎ (common)
  •  Russian: затрудне́ние‎, затрудни́тельное положе́ние‎ (neut.)
  •  Spanish: predicamento‎
  •  Maori: pōraruraru‎
  •  Mandarin: 困境‎ (kùnjìng)
  •  German: Lage‎ (fem.) (missliche ~; unglückliche ~), Zwangslage‎ (fem.), Dilemma‎ (neut.), Zwickmühle‎ (fem.), missliche Lage‎ (fem.)

What are synonyms and antonyms of entanglement?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word entanglement. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same or a similar definition as the word entanglement. Synonyms are very useful to know if you are trying to expand your English vocabulary or if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word entanglement is provided by Thesaurus

  •  tie-up
  •  complexity
  •  mess
  •  embroilment
  •  confusion
  •  intricacy
  •  affair
  •  liaison
  •  entrapment
  •  involvement
  •  snare
  •  enmeshment
  •  tangle
  •  trap
  •  difficulty
  •  embarrassment
  •  cobweb
  •  knot
  •  complication
  •  ensnarement
  •  muddle
  •  toil
  •  imbroglio
  •  intrigue
  •  web
  •  predicament
  •  mesh
  •  association
  •  jumble
  •  mix-up
  •  interaction

There are also a number of words that mean the opposite of the word entanglement. These are known as antonyms, or opposite words. You may wonder why antonyms would be a useful thing to know. First of all, learning any new word is helpful to expanding your vocabulary and knowledge of English grammar. Second, it is useful to know antonyms if you tend to negate words instead of using their opposite. This list of antonyms for the word entanglement is also provided by Thesaurus

  •  feat
  •  saving
  •  redemption
  •  deliverance
  •  relief
  •  extrication
  •  delivery
  •  heroism
  •  ransom
  •  recovering
  •  exploit
  •  salvation
  •  disembarrassment
  •  heroics
  •  salvage
  •  recovery
  •  reclamation
  •  release
  •  reclaiming
  •  performance
  •  liberation
  •  disentanglement
  •  emancipation

What is the origin of the word entanglement?

According to Etymonline, the word entanglement has been used since the 1630s to refer to that which entangles, and the 1680s to refer to an act of entangling. While people commonly thing that the phrase foreign entanglements appears in Washington’s Farewell Address (1796), it is found in William Coxe’s 1798 memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole. 

How can entanglement be used in a sentence?

Below are several examples of entanglement. 

The ’90s rom-dram stars a young Larenz Tate, Jada Pinkett-Smith of Red Table Talk, August Alsina, and the incomparable Nia Long, and follows the entanglement of a poet and a photographer.

Their past entanglement took a toll on their friendship. Intuition said they could remain friends, but their earlier time at Princeton University made them interact in such a precise way that it had interesting effects on their friendship. Histories of this sort often turn out this way, even when living on opposite sides of the Earth.

The intricate trap created interesting complications and entanglements on the hero’s way to save the princess. With rare exceptions, it would not be a hero’s journey without different situations and at different times, thinking all is lost. Otherwise, it would just be an everyday experience.

Upon deeper reflection, she realized that even the simplest entangled histories created a butterfly effect and proliferation in the present. This interplay between past relationships destroyed dignity and, in essence, the relationships all together.

The entangled system destroyed the enemy’s approach on the July Friday. The spars were won by the home team, whose members were in a different kind of entanglement. There was an obstruction on the flank of a fortification that foretold the distant events.

The entanglement of the obstruction of cables made the tech’s job impossible. There were too many possible outcomes for where the cables led to, and he only had partial information on how to fix the snarl of entangled particles. Even his choice of measurement did not help the extreme entanglement.

The student’s essay was rife with entanglement. There was no useful information or common sense, nor really part of any acceptable notion of physical reality. Much of the information was within next parentheses, and it was impossible to read.

The historians studied the entanglement of contradictory historical trajectories in intermediate times. One believed one related claim about Henry III, while the other cited an independent version of events.

The physicists were studying the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics and classical mechanics with regard to the EPR paradox. They studied the illustrations of quantum theory and the peculiarity of EPR, but still struggled to wrap their minds around EPR outcome, entanglement, the angular momentum of electrons, and the general quantum-mechanical phenomenon. During the discussion of EPR, they shared that they felt the paradox dissolves when you study the physical probabilities and pointed out the distinctive consequences of quantum entanglement in the following tables of such pairs.

Overall, the word entanglement means the state of being wrapped up with someone or something else. The concept of quantum entanglement involved conventional quantum measurements and classical lines of thought, but also partial knowledge of the state of its electrons. This realizable form of quantum entanglement is extremely complicated, and in the physicist Sidney Coleman’s words, “quantum mechanics in your face.”


  1. Entanglement | Meaning, Origin, Translations | Word Sense
  2. ENTANGLEMENT Synonyms: 37 Synonyms & Antonyms for ENTANGLEMENT | Thesaurus 
  3. DISENTANGLEMENT Synonyms: 32 Synonyms & Antonyms for DISENTANGLEMENT | Thesaurus 
  4. entanglement | Origin and meaning of entanglement | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Entanglement | Definition of Entanglement | Merriam-Webster 
  6. Quantum Entanglement Made Simple | Quanta Magazine 
  7. Your Simple (Yes, Simple) Guide to Quantum Entanglement | Wired