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See more synonyms for muss on Thesaurus.com
  1. a state of disorder or untidiness.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to put into disorder; make messy; rumple (often followed by up).
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Origin of muss

1820–30; perhaps blend of mess and fuss


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for muss

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • For one thing Fred sha'n't get into that kind of muss if I can save him from it.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Even to keep an open mind himself to all the muss and mummery of the Church!

  • It was some jay that stirred up all the muss, howlin' for his coin that he thought he'd lost.


    Sewell Ford

  • It will muss up reception some, but it will probably be better than direct, at that.

    Spacehounds of IPC

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • "It'll be a relief for most folks not to have the muss and the clutter," said Ellen's mother.


    Zona Gale

British Dictionary definitions for muss


  1. (tr often foll by up) to make untidy; rumple
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  1. a state of disorder; muddle
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Word Origin

C19: probably a blend of mess + fuss
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 muss


"to make untidy," 1837, probably a variant of mess in its sense of "disorder." Earlier (1830) as a noun meaning "disturbance." Related: Mussed; mussing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper