9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[tuhs-uh l] /ˈtʌs əl/
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.
Origin of tussle
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English (north and Scots) tusillen, derivative (see -le) of tusen to touse Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tussle
  • But the tussle between the two economic powers was clogging the pipes.
  • At the whistle they tussle and jostle until one is on the ground.
  • 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.
  • Proponents of gun rights may rejoice at winning this heavyweight tussle, but their victory comes by way of a nuanced decision.
  • He will hike up his pant leg to show a deep laceration from one tussle.
  • Medallion holders tussle with the city over regulations.
  • The tussle over a new viral strain in part reflects deeper questions related to scientific progress.
  • To some degree, this tussle might not amount to much.
British Dictionary definitions for tussle


(intransitive) to fight or wrestle in a vigorous way; struggle
a vigorous fight; scuffle; struggle
Word Origin
C15: related to Old High German zūsen; see tousle
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 tussle

late 15c., Scottish and northern English variant of touselen (see tousle). Related: Tussled; tussling. The noun is first recorded 1620s but rare before 19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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