verb (used without object), tussled, tussling.
to struggle or fight roughly or vigorously; wrestle; scuffle.
a rough physical contest or struggle; scuffle.
any vigorous or determined struggle, conflict, etc.: I had quite a tussle with that chemistry exam.

1425–75; late Middle English (north and Scots) tusillen, derivative (see -le) of tusen to touse

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World English Dictionary
tussle (ˈtʌsəl)
1.  (intr) to fight or wrestle in a vigorous way; struggle
2.  a vigorous fight; scuffle; struggle
[C15: related to Old High German zūsen; see tousle]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1470, Scottish and northern English variant of touselen (see tousle). The noun is first recorded 1629 but rare before 19c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But the tussle between the two economic powers was clogging the pipes.
The regime that succeeded him was an uneasy tussle between idealists and a
  would-be military junta.
The statistical tussle shows the difficulty of drawing firm conclusions from
  correlations alone.
But actually theirs is a good old-fashioned north-south tussle.
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