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tousle

or tou·zle

[tou-zuh l]
See more synonyms for tousle on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), tou·sled, tou·sling.
  1. to disorder or dishevel: The wind tousled our hair.
  2. to handle roughly.
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noun
  1. a disheveled or rumpled mass, especially of hair.
  2. a disordered, disheveled, or tangled condition.
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Origin of tousle

1400–50; late Middle English touselen (v.); cognate with Low German tūseln. See touse, -le
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for tousle

discompose, mess, rumple, clutter, muss, dishevel, disorder, disarrange

Examples from the Web for tousle

Contemporary Examples of tousle

Historical Examples of tousle

  • He's got a mane like yours before it was cut off, Essie—all in a tousle.

    Esther's Charge

    Evelyn Everett-Green

  • Roy would slap him on the shoulder and tousle his hair, but he would ask Tom's advice—and take it.

    Tom Slade at Temple Camp

    Percy K. Fitzhugh

  • Yet there looked little to pity in this jolly, rocking lad with the tousle of light hair and fresh, rosy countenance.

    Bob, Son of Battle

    Alfred Ollivant

  • Tousle may come as a visitor sometimes; and you may come always, Milly, if you'll be jolly and not tell secrets.

    Esther's Charge

    Evelyn Everett-Green


British Dictionary definitions for tousle

tousle

verb (tr)
  1. to tangle, ruffle, or disarrange
  2. to treat roughly
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noun
  1. a disorderly, tangled, or rumpled state
  2. a dishevelled or disordered mass, esp of hair
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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

v.

"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper