tousle

[tou-zuhl]
verb (used with object), tousled, tousling.
1.
to disorder or dishevel: The wind tousled our hair.
2.
to handle roughly.
noun
3.
a disheveled or rumpled mass, especially of hair.
4.
a disordered, disheveled, or tangled condition.
Also, touzle.


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

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World English Dictionary
tousle (ˈtaʊzəl)
 
vb
1.  to tangle, ruffle, or disarrange
2.  to treat roughly
 
n
3.  a disorderly, tangled, or rumpled state
4.  a dishevelled or disordered mass, esp of hair
 
[C15: from Low German tūsen to shake; related to Old High German zirzūsōn to tear to pieces]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tousle
"pull roughly, disorder, dishevel," c.1440, freq. of -tousen "handle or push about roughly," from O.E. *tusian, from P.Gmc. *tus- (cf. Fris. tusen, O.H.G. erzusen, Ger. zausen "to tug, pull, dishevel"); related to tease.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He has a round choirboy face, blue eyes with a glint of irreverence, and a boyish tousle of graying hair.
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