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

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • 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
  • So, my boy, that is why I keep you tussling with cross-country work while the others are on the track.

    For the Honor of the School Ralph Henry Barbour
  • Whilst we were tussling I slipped in a cartridge and pulled the trigger—the muzzle was against his breast, and he fell dead.

  • At last, near the horizon's rim, he spied a yeasty tumult of the sea, marking some obstruction at which the waves were tussling.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • 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


(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 tussling



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 tussling

Word Value for tussling

Scrabble Words With Friends