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[muhs] /mʌs/
a state of disorder or untidiness.
verb (used with object)
to put into disorder; make messy; rumple (often followed by up).
Origin of muss
1820-30; perhaps blend of mess and fuss
2. mess, disturb, tangle, bedraggle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for muss
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For one thing Fred sha'n't get into that kind of muss if I can save him from it.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Even to keep an open mind himself to all the muss and mummery of the Church!

  • It was some jay that stirred up all the muss, howlin' for his coin that he thought he'd lost.

    Torchy Sewell Ford
  • It will muss up reception some, but it will probably be better than direct, at that.

    Spacehounds of IPC Edward Elmer Smith
  • "It'll be a relief for most folks not to have the muss and the clutter," said Ellen's mother.

    Christmas Zona Gale
  • "Passengers better get below out of the muss," advised Captain Downs.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • There was not a speck of dirt or dust or muss or mess on the inside nor the outside of their ears.

    Rootabaga Stories Carl Sandburg
  • So you got a bunch of sheep and drove them down there to muss things up some.

    Brand Blotters William MacLeod Raine
  • "It's so clean I hate to muss it up with my things," she said, casting about for a chair.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston Caroline E. Jacobs
British Dictionary definitions for muss


(transitive) often foll by up. to make untidy; rumple
a state of disorder; muddle
Word Origin
C19: probably a blend of mess + fuss
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for muss

"to make untidy," 1837, probably a variant of mess in its sense of "disorder." Earlier (1830) as a noun meaning "disturbance." Related: Mussed; mussing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for muss


v,v phr

To disarrange; dishevel: He mussed his hair all up

[1899+; fr mess]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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