Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[tuhs-uh l] /ˈtʌs əl/
verb (used without object), tussled, tussling.
to struggle or fight roughly or vigorously; wrestle; scuffle.
a rough physical contest or struggle; scuffle.
any vigorous or determined struggle, conflict, etc.:
I had quite a tussle with that chemistry exam.
Origin of tussle
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English (north and Scots) tusillen, derivative (see -le) of tusen to touse Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
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


(intransitive) to fight or wrestle in a vigorous way; struggle
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tussle

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for tussle

Word Value for tussle

Scrabble Words With Friends