- to let down, as hair, or wear or let hang in loose disorder, as clothing.
- to cause untidiness and disarray in: The wind disheveled the papers on the desk.
Origin of dishevel
- to disarrange (the hair or clothes) of (someone)
Word Origin and History for disheveling
originally an adjective, "bare-headed," late 14c., variant (with muted final -e) of dishevely, from Old French deschevele "bare-headed, with shaven head," past participle adjective from descheveler "to disarrange the hair," from des- "apart" (see dis-) + chevel "hair," from Latin capillus "hair" (see capillary). Of the hair, "dissheveled," mid-15c. OED says use as a verb is chiefly a back-formation from disheveled.