[dih-shev-uh l]

verb (used with object), di·shev·eled, di·shev·el·ing or (especially British) di·shev·elled, di·shev·el·ling.

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.


Nearby words

  1. disheartening,
  2. dished,
  3. dishelm,
  4. disherison,
  5. disherit,
  6. disheveled,
  7. dishevelled,
  8. dishful,
  9. dishonest,
  10. dishonesty

Origin of dishevel

First recorded in 1590–1600; back formation from disheveled

Related formsdi·shev·el·ment, noun




hanging loosely or in disorder; unkempt: disheveled hair.
untidy; disarranged: a disheveled appearance.
Also especially British, di·shev·elled.

Origin of disheveled

1375–1425; late Middle English discheveled < Old French deschevele, past participle of descheveler to dishevel the hair, equivalent to des- dis-1 + -cheveler, derivative of chevel a hair < Latin capillus

Related formsun·di·shev·eled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dishevelled

British Dictionary definitions for dishevelled


US disheveled


(esp of hair) hanging loosely
(of general appearance) unkempt; untidy

Word Origin for dishevelled

C15 dischevelee, from Old French deschevelé, from des- dis- 1 + chevel hair, from Latin capillus


verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

to disarrange (the hair or clothes) of (someone)
Derived Formsdishevelment, noun

Word Origin for dishevel

C15: back formation from dishevelled

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

Word Origin and History for dishevelled
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper