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tousle

[tou-zuh l] /ˈtaʊ zəl/
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
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English touselen (v.); cognate with Low German tūseln. See touse, -le
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for tousle
  • He has a round choirboy face, blue eyes with a glint of irreverence, and a boyish tousle of graying hair.
British Dictionary definitions for tousle

tousle

/ˈtaʊzəl/
verb (transitive)
1.
to tangle, ruffle, or disarrange
2.
to treat roughly
noun
3.
a disorderly, tangled, or rumpled state
4.
a dishevelled or disordered mass, esp of hair
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for tousle
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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