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tousled

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

tousle

or touzle

[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.
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tousled
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The tousled hair is smooth enough now under the neat cap, the dress is tidy, the apron clean.

    Betty's Battles S. L. M.
  • Martha could see it move, a tousled shadow against the light.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The child had fallen asleep, and with a light kiss on his tousled curls the grandfather turned him over to his mother's arms.

    Roads from Rome Anne C. E. Allinson
  • Then she patted the sober-faced youngster on his tousled head and left.

    Foundling on Venus John de Courcy
  • Jimmy thereupon released them and stood up, brushing down his tousled hair with his stubby fingers.

    The Blazed Trail Stewart Edward White
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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