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or touzle

[tou-zuh l] /ˈtaʊ zəl/
verb (used with object), tousled, tousling.
to disorder or dishevel:
The wind tousled our hair.
to handle roughly.
a disheveled or rumpled mass, especially of hair.
a disordered, disheveled, or tangled condition.
Origin of tousle
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English touselen (v.); cognate with Low German tūseln. See touse, -le Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tousle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He's got a mane like yours before it was cut off, Essie—all in a tousle.

    Esther's Charge Evelyn Everett-Green
  • Roy would slap him on the shoulder and tousle his hair, but he would ask Tom's advice—and take it.

    Tom Slade at Temple Camp Percy K. Fitzhugh
  • Yet there looked little to pity in this jolly, rocking lad with the tousle of light hair and fresh, rosy countenance.

    Bob, Son of Battle Alfred Ollivant
  • tousle may come as a visitor sometimes; and you may come always, Milly, if you'll be jolly and not tell secrets.

    Esther's Charge Evelyn Everett-Green
British Dictionary definitions for tousle


verb (transitive)
to tangle, ruffle, or disarrange
to treat roughly
a disorderly, tangled, or rumpled state
a dishevelled or disordered mass, esp of hair
Word Origin
C15: from Low German tūsen to shake; related to Old High German zirzūsōn to tear to pieces
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 tousle

"pull roughly, disorder, dishevel," mid-15c., frequentative of -tousen "handle or push about roughly," from Old English *tusian, from Proto-Germanic *tus- (cf. Frisian tusen, Old High German erzusen, German zausen "to tug, pull, dishevel"); related to tease.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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