1 of 2


: a game in which players scramble for small objects thrown to the ground
slang : a confused conflict : row
: a state of disorder : mess


2 of 2


mussed; mussing; musses

transitive verb

: to make untidy : disarrange

Example Sentences

Noun careful planning had eliminated most of the muss that usually accompanies a move to a new house Verb His suit was mussed when he got out of the car. the wind mussed up my hair
Recent Examples on the Web
As promised, the restaurant is a no-fuss, no-muss operation. Bahar Anooshahr, The Arizona Republic, 18 Jan. 2023 James, Sami, Jesse, Cassidy, and Karla (all from the super alliance of seven) sat out without much muss or fuss. Dalton Ross,, 10 Nov. 2022 Ideal for anyone who doesn't want the muss and fuss of a wood fire, this gas fire table makes for a snazzy addition to a patio or porch. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, 6 Sep. 2022 Sheet masks are a no-muss, no-fuss way to get involved in the fun part of skincare. Tatjana Freund, ELLE, 29 July 2022 For a no-muss, no-fuss cleanser, this one is a standout. ELLE, 28 June 2022 This kit is a no-muss no-fuss guide to bouncy, voluminous hair. ELLE, 17 Mar. 2022 The no-muss, no-fuss ethos works like a charm in The Post, which recounts the Washington Post’s harrowing journey to publish the Pentagon Papers and bring down the Nixon White House’s failed Vietnam policy. Tim Grierson, Vulture, 14 Dec. 2021 For backpackers, travelers, office workers and others who want to make coffee with less fuss and muss, Anodyne Coffee Roasters now sells packs of single-serving bags of ground coffee for steeping. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Aug. 2021
The story goes that the pastry chef Lasne, who had a shop near the Paris stock exchange in the late 1800s, created these little cakes for his stockbroker clients as a treat that wouldn’t muss their hands. New York Times, 2 Feb. 2022 Curreri came onstage in jeans and a Led Zeppelin T-shirt, his beard short and his dark hair mussed. Brendan Fitzgerald, Longreads, 14 Mar. 2020 The black and white clip -- tinged with a touch of red on Trump's tie and his signature MAGA hats -- includes his legendary hair-mussing on The Tonight Show and a deep, soulful American flag embrace. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 1 Oct. 2019 So, is Chrissy and John's a custom piece, adding additional anxiety to the concept of mussing it? Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 3 Sep. 2019 His hair was fairly mussed sitting down to discuss the preceding 47-23 Alabama win on a hot day in South Carolina. Michael Casagrande |, al, 15 Sep. 2019 Then, once the decision is made, the nervousness around mussing up the pristine new member of the household. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 3 Sep. 2019 The show used to be the king of late night but stumbled in the ratings after Fallon’s now-infamous hair mussing appearance with Donald Trump. Washington Post, 16 July 2019 Cillian passes him, mussing Rhys’s carefully parted hair into wild curls and laughing at Rhys’s frustration. David Canfield,, 17 July 2019 See More

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

Word History



origin unknown

First Known Use


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of muss was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near muss

Cite this Entry

“Muss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a state of disorder : mess


2 of 2 verb
: to make untidy : rumple
mussed my hair

More from Merriam-Webster on muss

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