Difference Wiki

Entwine vs. Intertwine: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Updated on March 4, 2024
Entwine and intertwine both refer to the act of twisting together or becoming twisted together, though "intertwine" often implies a more complex or intricate blending.

Key Differences

Entwine suggests wrapping or twisting one thing around another, often used metaphorically to describe relationships or concepts that are closely connected or bound together. Intertwine, while similar, typically conveys a deeper or more intricate mingling or merging of elements, suggesting a more complex relationship or combination that is difficult to separate.
Entwine can be used to describe the action of physically wrapping things together, such as vines around a trellis, or it can symbolize the connection between less tangible entities, like ideas or paths in life. Intertwine often emphasizes the interconnectedness and interdependency of the elements involved, suggesting that the entities are not just wrapped around each other but are woven together to form a single entity.
The usage of entwine might focus more on the action of twisting or wrapping, with a possible emphasis on the simplicity or straightforwardness of the connection. Intertwine, on the other hand, might be chosen to highlight the complexity and depth of the interrelationship, suggesting a blend that is more difficult to untangle.
Both terms are used in various contexts, including literature, art, and discussions of natural phenomena, to convey the idea of things being connected in a significant way.
While the differences between entwine and intertwine are subtle, the choice between them can convey different degrees of complexity and depth in the connection or blend being described.

Comparison Chart


To twist together or around something.
To twist or weave together, often intricately.


Suggests a simpler or more straightforward wrapping or connection.
Implies a more complex or intricate blending or interconnection.


Physical or metaphorical wrapping or binding.
Emphasizes complexity and depth of connection.


Vines entwining a trellis; lives entwined by fate.
Lives and destinies intertwined; intertwined narratives in a novel.


On the act of wrapping or twisting together.
On the complexity and intricacy of the connection.

Entwine and Intertwine Definitions


To become twisted or wrapped around something.
Their fingers entwined as they walked along the beach.


Often used to suggest a blending or merging that is difficult to separate.
Tradition and innovation are intertwined in the new design.


To twist or wrap one thing around another.
The gardener trained the ivy to entwine around the arbor.


To be or become closely connected or united.
Their lives became intricately intertwined after years of friendship.


Used metaphorically to describe a close connection.
Their destinies were entwined from the moment they met.


To twist or weave things together, especially in a complex or intricate way.
The artist intertwined various themes to create a complex narrative.


To twine around or together
The ivy entwined the column.


To join or become joined by twining together.


To twine or twist together.


(transitive) To twine something together.


To twist or twine around something (or one another).


(intransitive) To become twined together.


To twine, twist, or wreathe together or round.
Entwined in duskier wreaths her braided locks.
Thy glorious household stuff did me entwine.


To unite by twining one with another; to entangle; to interlace.


To be twisted or twined.
With whose imperial laurels might entwine no cypress.


To be twined or twisted together; to become mutually involved or enfolded.


Tie or link together


The act of intertwining, or the state of being intertwined.


Spin or twist together so as to form a cord;
Intertwine the ribbons
Twine the threads into a rope


Spin or twist together so as to form a cord;
Intertwine the ribbons
Twine the threads into a rope


Make lacework by knotting or looping


Make a loop in;
Loop a rope


Does "entwine" imply a weaker connection than "intertwine"?

Not necessarily weaker, but "entwine" might suggest a simpler or more straightforward connection, while "intertwine" suggests a deeper, more complex interrelation.

Is "intertwine" only used in a metaphorical sense?

No, "intertwine" can be used both literally, to describe physical weaving together, and metaphorically, to describe complex relationships or connections.

How do "entwine" and "intertwine" relate to the concept of interdependency?

Both can relate to interdependency, but "intertwine" especially highlights the idea of elements being so closely linked that they depend on each other, forming a complex whole.

Are there visual art applications of "entwine" and "intertwine"?

In visual arts, these terms can describe the physical method of creating art, such as fibers that are entwined to make a fabric, or conceptually, to discuss the way different visual elements intertwine to create meaning.

What is the origin of "entwine" and "intertwine"?

Both words derive from the Middle English period, with "entwine" coming from the idea of twisting in or among, and "intertwine" emphasizing intermingling or weaving together, reflecting their uses in describing complex or simple forms of connection.

How do poets and writers use "entwine" and "intertwine"?

Poets and writers often use these terms to evoke images of connection and unity, with "entwine" possibly suggesting a more romantic or straightforward linkage, and "intertwine" used to convey complex relationships or plotlines.

How might "entwine" and "intertwine" be used in psychology?

In psychology, these terms might describe the way personal histories, behaviors, or thought patterns are entwined or intertwined, affecting individuals' mental health or interpersonal relationships.

Can landscapes or environments be described as entwined or intertwined?

Yes, landscapes or environmental features can be described this way, such as rivers that entwine through a valley or different habitats that intertwine, supporting diverse ecosystems.

Can "entwine" and "intertwine" be used in scientific contexts?

Yes, these terms can be used in scientific contexts to describe physical processes or relationships, such as DNA strands that entwine or ecological systems where different species' lives intertwine.

Can inanimate objects be described as intertwined?

Yes, inanimate objects can be described as intertwined, especially when their physical forms are woven or twisted together, or when they are part of a complex system or design.

Can "entwine" and "intertwine" be used interchangeably?

While they can be used interchangeably in some contexts, the choice between them might depend on the desired emphasis on complexity or simplicity of the connection.

Do "entwine" and "intertwine" have specific connotations in relationship advice?

In relationship advice, "entwine" might suggest a healthy coming together of two lives, while "intertwine" could indicate a deeper, perhaps more complex, merging of interests, values, and goals.

What is the difference in the emotional impact of "entwine" vs. "intertwine"?

"Entwine" may evoke a sense of gentle connection or unity, while "intertwine" might convey a stronger, more profound bond that is emotionally deeper or more complicated.

What role do "entwine" and "intertwine" play in cultural studies?

These terms can be used to discuss how different cultural elements or practices come together, with "entwine" perhaps referring to the addition of a new element to a tradition, and "intertwine" indicating a deeper, more integral blending of cultures.

How do "entwine" and "intertwine" relate to the concept of fate or destiny?

These terms can metaphorically describe the concept of fate or destiny, with "entwine" suggesting destinies that are gently linked and "intertwine" indicating a more inextricable, complex weaving together of paths.

Can technology and digital networks be described as entwined or intertwined?

Absolutely, technology and digital networks can be described using these terms, reflecting how various systems and platforms are entwined in our daily lives or how data and connectivity intertwine to create complex networks.

Is there a physical sensation associated with "entwine" and "intertwine"?

While not physically tangible, "entwine" may suggest a softer, more tender interaction, whereas "intertwine" could evoke a sense of thorough mingling or envelopment, offering a metaphorical sense of touch or connection.

Can "entwine" and "intertwine" be applied to architectural design?

Yes, in architecture, these terms might describe the physical or conceptual integration of elements, such as structures that entwine with the landscape or design concepts that intertwine traditional and modern elements.

How do "entwine" and "intertwine" relate to the development of personal identity?

These terms can reflect how various experiences, influences, and relationships entwine or intertwine to shape an individual's personal identity, highlighting the complexity or simplicity of the influences involved.

How do "entwine" and "intertwine" function in music composition?

In music, these terms might describe the way melodies, rhythms, or thematic elements are woven together, with "entwine" suggesting a simple harmony and "intertwine" indicating a more complex counterpoint or fusion of genres.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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