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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for tussling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When he was ten days old Ba-ree discovered there was great sport in tussling with a bit of rabbit fur.

    Kazan James Oliver Curwood
  • In tussling with Lew I had gotten blood on my coat, pants, and shirt.

    The Criminal Imbecile Henry Herbert Goddard
  • Mallory and the big deputy stood with their backs to the Treasurer's door, tussling with three burly ruffians.

    The Short Line War Samuel Merwin
  • Whilst we were tussling I slipped in a cartridge and pulled the trigger—the muzzle was against his breast, and he fell dead.

  • They were tussling together, and we flung ourselves on them and separated them.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • Hippy and the bronco were tussling on the threshold of the car with Hippy's feet in the air most of the time.

  • At night his dreams were a long conglomeration of tussling and battle in the most unexpected places.

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for tussling

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 tussling

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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9
13
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