or tou·zle

[tou-zuh l]

verb (used with object), tou·sled, tou·sling.

to disorder or dishevel: The wind tousled our hair.
to handle roughly.


a disheveled or rumpled mass, especially of hair.
a disordered, disheveled, or tangled condition.

Nearby words

  1. tours,
  2. tourtière,
  3. touré,
  4. tous-les-mois,
  5. touse,
  6. tousled,
  7. toussaint,
  8. toussaint l'ouverture,
  9. toussaint l'ouverture, françois dominique,
  10. tout

Origin of tousle

1400–50; late Middle English touselen (v.); cognate with Low German tūseln. See touse, -le Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tousle

British Dictionary definitions for tousle


verb (tr)

to tangle, ruffle, or disarrange
to treat roughly


a disorderly, tangled, or rumpled state
a dishevelled or disordered mass, esp of hair

Word Origin for tousle

C15: from Low German tūsen to shake; related to Old High German zirzūsōn to tear to pieces

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 tousle



"pull roughly, disorder, dishevel," mid-15c., frequentative of -tousen "handle or push about roughly," from Old English *tusian, from Proto-Germanic *tus- (cf. Frisian tusen, Old High German erzusen, German zausen "to tug, pull, dishevel"); related to tease.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper