a state of disorder or untidiness.

verb (used with object)

to put into disorder; make messy; rumple (often followed by up).

Origin of muss

1820–30; perhaps blend of mess and fuss

Synonyms for muss Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for muss

Contemporary Examples of muss

  • Not a lot of fuss and muss here, just good taste and great songs.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Best Music Blogs

    Howard Wolfson

    January 26, 2014

Historical Examples of muss

  • 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



(tr often foll by up) to make untidy; rumple


a state of disorder; muddle

Word Origin for muss

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper