Simple Definition of tousle
: to make (someone's hair) untidy
Examples of tousle in a sentence
She tousled the little boy's hair.
<his grandfather would always tousle the boy's neatly combed hair>
Did You Know?
Tousle is a word that has been through what linguists call a "functional shift." That's a fancy way of saying it was originally one part of speech, then gradually came to have an additional function. "Tousle" started out as a verb back in the 15th century. By the late 19th century, "tousle" was also being used as a noun meaning "a tangled mass (as of hair)." Etymologists connect the word to an Old High German word meaning "to pull to pieces."
Origin of tousle
Middle English touselen, frequentative of -tousen
First Known Use: 15th century
First Known Use of tousle
TOUSLE Defined for Kids
Definition of tousle for Students
: to put into disorder by rough handling <She tousled my hair.>
Seen and Heard
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