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[tee-zuh l] /ˈti zəl/
any of several plants of the genus Dipsacus, having prickly leaves and flower heads.
Compare teasel family.
the dried flower head or bur of the plant D. fullonum, used for teasing or teaseling cloth.
any mechanical contrivance used for teaseling.
verb (used with object), teaseled, teaseling or (especially British) teaselled, teaselling.
to raise a nap on (cloth) with teasels; dress by means of teasels.
Origin of teasel
before 1000; Middle English tesel, Old English tǣsel; akin to tease
Related forms
teaseler; especially British, teaseller, noun
unteaseled, adjective
unteaselled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for teasel
  • Lack of natural enemies allows teasel to proliferate.
  • Designates cut-leaved teasel, common teasel and kudzu vine as noxious weeds.
  • Reduce litter to allow for minimizing herbicide application rates for common teasel treatment.
  • Remove invasive species, especially garlic mustard and teasel.
British Dictionary definitions for teasel


any of various stout biennial plants of the genus Dipsacus, of Eurasia and N Africa, having prickly leaves and prickly heads of yellow or purple flowers: family Dipsacaceae See also fuller's teasel
  1. the prickly dried flower head of the fuller's teasel, used for teasing
  2. any manufactured implement used for the same purpose
verb -sels, -selling, -selled (US) -sels, -seling, -seled
(transitive) to tease (a fabric)
Derived Forms
teaseller, noun
Word Origin
Old English tǣsel; related to Old High German zeisala teasel, Norwegian tīsl undergrowth, tīsla to tear to bits; see tease
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 teasel

Old English tæsel "large thistle used in teasing cloth," from Proto-Germanic *taisilo (cf. Old High German zeisala), from root of Old English tæsan "to pluck" (see tease (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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