Denotation vs. Connotation


[muhs] /mʌs/
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
2. mess, disturb, tangle, bedraggle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for muss
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Es muss sein can only refer here to Beethovens receipt for the ring.

  • 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
  • Most of their beds are made, and they left everything in a muss down-stairs.

    The Boarded-Up House Augusta Huiell Seaman
  • It was some jay that stirred up all the muss, howlin' for his coin that he thought he'd lost.

    Torchy Sewell Ford
  • Such as play and sport it at the muss are excusable in and by law, lib.

  • It will muss up reception some, but it will probably be better than direct, at that.

    Spacehounds of IPC Edward Elmer Smith
  • T'ree canoe go by on lake—t'at muss, you call him—know him, well.

    Satanstoe James Fenimore Cooper
  • "Passengers better get below out of the muss," advised Captain Downs.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • He'll find himself in a muss, too, if he don't mind out, sure.

    Lone Pine R. B. (Richard Baxter) Townshend
British Dictionary definitions for muss


(transitive) often foll by up. to make untidy; rumple
a state of disorder; muddle
Word Origin
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
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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
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Slang definitions & phrases for muss


v,v phr

To disarrange; dishevel: He mussed his hair all up

[1899+; fr mess]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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