[ muhs ]
See synonyms for muss on
  1. a state of disorder or untidiness.

verb (used with object)
  1. to put into disorder; make messy; rumple (often followed by up).

Origin of muss

1820–30; perhaps blend of mess and fuss

Other words for muss Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use muss in a sentence

  • When commentators noted that even his hair looked too perfect, his aides mussed it up.

    Why Palin Mania Won't Die | Matt Latimer | October 15, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The old man paced the floor of the cabin, his white hair mussed, his face red with excitement.

    Derelict | Alan Edward Nourse
  • "Don't lie to me, unless you want to be mussed up some more," said Tom grimly, glancing at Koku.

  • Rose cried out when she saw the little ones so mussed up and with tear-stained faces, "what has happened to you?"

  • The straw must be clear of all seed or grain and kept straight, not mussed up, crumpled, and broken.

  • Altogether, they were as badly mussed a trio as you could wish to see, when Tom came out the back door toward them.

    Winona of the Camp Fire | Margaret Widdemer

British Dictionary definitions for muss


/ (mʌs) US and Canadian informal /

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

  1. a state of disorder; muddle

Origin of 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