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tousled

[tou-zuh ld] /ˈtaʊ zəld/
adjective
1.
disordered or disheveled:
tousled hair; tousled clothes.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50; tousle + -ed2
Synonyms
messy, tangled, untidy, rumpled.

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
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 from the web for tousled
  • Here and there went his hands, caressing the shoulders of the boys, playing about the tousled heads.
  • Her tousled hair reflected the green and red from the lamp.
  • His chlorine-damaged hair was tousled and badly in need of a comb.
  • Her hair is a tousled white aureole, and her gray eyes dim and brighten without warning.
British Dictionary definitions for tousled

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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tousled

tousle

v.

"pull roughly, disorder, dishevel," mid-15c., frequentative of -tousen "handle or push about roughly," from Old English *tusian, from Proto-Germanic *tus- (cf. Frisian tusen, Old High German erzusen, German zausen "to tug, pull, dishevel"); related to tease.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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