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tussle

[tuhs-uh l] /ˈtʌs əl/
verb (used without object), tussled, tussling.
1.
to struggle or fight roughly or vigorously; wrestle; scuffle.
noun
2.
a rough physical contest or struggle; scuffle.
3.
any vigorous or determined struggle, conflict, etc.:
I had quite a tussle with that chemistry exam.
Origin of tussle
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English (north and Scots) tusillen, derivative (see -le) of tusen to touse
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tussle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Jim-the-ladder has been a prize-fighter in his day, and there was a tussle.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • Just a bit of a tussle now and then to keep you from dropping off.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Lydia didn't want him to tussle, but she did want him at the top.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • I came upon it from a tussle with the sea—and I was young—and I saw it looking at me.

    Youth Joseph Conrad
  • Then, perhaps, there might be a tussle between them as to which should have his own way,—or hers.

    Kept in the Dark

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for tussle

tussle

/ˈtʌsəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to fight or wrestle in a vigorous way; struggle
noun
2.
a vigorous fight; scuffle; struggle
Word Origin
C15: related to Old High German zūsen; see tousle
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 tussle
v.

late 15c., Scottish and northern English variant of touselen (see tousle). Related: Tussled; tussling. The noun is first recorded 1620s but rare before 19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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