di·​shev·​eled | \ di-ˈshev-əld How to pronounce disheveled (audio) \
variants: or dishevelled

Definition of disheveled

: marked by disorder or disarray disheveled hair

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Disheveled comes from Middle English discheveled, meaning "bareheaded" or "with disordered hair." That word is partially based on Anglo-French deschevelé, a combination of the prefix des- ("dis-") and chevoil ("hair"). In English, disheveled describes things other than hair that have a messy or untidy appearance.

Examples of disheveled in a Sentence

His wrinkled suit gave him a disheveled appearance. They looked dirty and disheveled.
Recent Examples on the Web In the album artwork, the British singer is seen wearing an airy white baby doll shirt and denim bell-bottoms with disheveled hair that is just making our hearts melt. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 24 Mar. 2022 Eliot Ness for his unimpeachability, Frank Serpico for his willingness to take on crooked cops, and the television detective Columbo for his casual, sometimes disheveled demeanor that put witnesses at ease and threw adversaries off their game. New York Times, 25 Jan. 2022 The wild men of later years were merely disheveled and loud, and Breen was unimpressed. David Hill, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 Images of the disheveled and handcuffed mogul Medvedchuk have also circulated widely since his recapture. Washington Post, 15 Apr. 2022 Doubly damaging Johnson’s disheveled look, signature mussed hair and affable antics helped take him from TV shows to London mayor during the Olympic Games—and eventually to become prime minister in 2019. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 13 Apr. 2022 Oldman is having a wonderful time as the disheveled, cranky, secretly brilliant Lamb, insulting everyone who comes near his office, nursing grudges, and holding his cards extremely close to the vest. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, 4 Apr. 2022 One of those photos, of a disheveled toddler standing amid debris, was shared more than 300 times in a week since being posted March 10 on Facebook. Ana Faguy, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2022 Finally, one cousin managed to force through the thousands still outside the airport gates and find Arian — disheveled, disoriented and severely dehydrated. Deepa Fernandes, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disheveled.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of disheveled

1583, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for disheveled

Middle English discheveled bareheaded, with disordered hair, partial translation of Anglo-French deschevelé, from des- dis- + chevoil hair, from Latin capillus

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The first known use of disheveled was in 1583

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disheveled.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for disheveled


variants: or dishevelled \ di-​ˈshe-​vəld \

Kids Definition of disheveled

: messy sense 1 disheveled hair

More from Merriam-Webster on disheveled

Nglish: Translation of disheveled for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disheveled for Arabic Speakers


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