di·​shev·​el di-ˈshev-əl How to pronounce dishevel (audio)
disheveled or dishevelled; disheveling or dishevelling di-ˈshe-v(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce dishevel (audio)

transitive verb

: to throw into disorder or disarray
dishevelment noun

Examples of dishevel in a Sentence

decorations for the garden wedding that had been disheveled by the wind
Recent Examples on the Web In the very first scene of Hulu’s Great Expectations, a distraught and disheveled Pip (Fionn Whitehead) ties one end of a rope to a bridge, tightens the other around his neck, and leaps. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Mar. 2023 Angular guitars, indie-disco beats, deliberately disheveled haircuts. Jon O'Brien, Vulture, 9 May 2023 In Sound of Music, Julie Andrews’ Maria uses singing to break the children out of their cages, but Jack Black’s disheveled Dewey Finn employs the sounds and culture of rock and roll to teach the uptight kids at Horace Green Preparatory School to be themselves, and to love themselves. Luke Ottenhof, Billboard, 13 Apr. 2023 Then there’s the smell: Byredo’s Oud Immortel replaced by a foreign laundry detergent and the salt of unfamiliar skin; disheveled hair that has locked in smoke particles from the clurb. Julissa James, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2023 The offbeat styling had tights and leggings worn as pants, and the hair deliberately disheveled. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 7 Mar. 2023 However, this time, Addison arrives disheveled and exhausted with a messy bun instead of an immaculate ponytail. Lincee Ray,, 24 Mar. 2023 Amanda Loman/Getty The Trail Blazers looked listless and disheveled at times during their Wednesday loss to the Celtics. Gary Washburn,, 11 Mar. 2023 Not too much makeup, but not disheveled. Marisa Ingemi, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dishevel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


back-formation from disheveled

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dishevel was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near dishevel

Cite this Entry

“Dishevel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


di·​shev·​el dish-ˈev-əl How to pronounce dishevel (audio)
disheveled or dishevelled; disheveling or dishevelling -ˈev-(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce dishevel (audio)
: to throw into disorder : make untidy
the wind disheveled her clothes

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