or tou·zle

[ tou-zuhl ]
See synonyms for: tousletousled on

verb (used with object),tou·sled, tou·sling.
  1. to disorder or dishevel: The wind tousled our hair.

  2. to handle roughly.

  1. a disheveled or rumpled mass, especially of hair.

  2. a disordered, disheveled, or tangled condition.

Origin of tousle

1400–50; late Middle English touselen (v.); cognate with Low German tūseln.See touse, -le

Words Nearby tousle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use tousle in a sentence

  • The next instant a tousle-headed boy with eyes ablaze was at her side working her hands like pump-handles.

    The Promise | James B. Hendryx
  • Next to him sat Tuesday, the tousle-headed Gogol, a man more obviously mad.

    The Man Who Was Thursday | G. K. Chesterton

British Dictionary definitions for tousle


/ (ˈtaʊzəl) /

  1. to tangle, ruffle, or disarrange

  2. to treat roughly

  1. a disorderly, tangled, or rumpled state

  2. a dishevelled or disordered mass, esp of hair

Origin of 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