tas·​sel | \ ˈta-səl How to pronounce tassel (audio) , usually of corn ˈtä-, ˈtȯ-\

Definition of tassel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a dangling ornament made by laying parallel a bunch of cords or threads of even length and fastening them at one end
2 : something resembling a tassel especially : the terminal male inflorescence of some plants and especially corn


tasseled or tasselled; tasseling or tasselling\ ˈta-​s(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce tasselling (audio) \

Definition of tassel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to adorn with tassels

intransitive verb

: to put forth tassel inflorescences

Illustration of tassel

Illustration of tassel


tassel 1

In the meaning defined above

Examples of tassel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some of these earrings feature as many as a dozen tassels per bunch. Maggie Lange, The Cut, "Some Thoughts on the Tassel Earring," 28 June 2018 In just one week’s time, Lipa managed to bust out a shiny green skirt, a multicolored sequin wrap dress, and a deep green gown with dangling diamond tassels. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Dua Lipa’s Jet-Lag Cure? A Sequined Bathrobe, Of Course," 3 Jan. 2019 Some came in leis, others wore medallions and sashes, while caps, tassels and gowns were colored light blue or navy. Andrew J. Campa, latimes.com, "Crescenta Valley High seniors graduate with distinctions," 8 June 2018 Striped pillows mingle with nubby throw blankets and linen sheets for the ultimate winter bed, while unexpected details like tassels and fringed edges give each element a thoughtful, finished look. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "A Joanna Gaines Bedding Line Is Coming To Target The Day After Christmas," 22 Dec. 2018 Her hair was plaited into dreadlocks, covered with thick paste, and finished with tassels that looked like cows’ tails. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 It Here: All Roads Baja Pillow, $70-100 {sale}, anthropologie.com Notice that Lara Jean has a strand of tassels hanging alongside her glow string lights? Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, ""To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before" Bedroom Decor Inspiration," 24 Aug. 2018 Beading and tassels are elements common in most boho jewelry, but read as upscale in rich 14k. Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "How to Make Your Boring LBD Feel New Again," 16 Nov. 2018 The actress hit the red carpet in a dazzling metallic gown that featured off-the-shoulder silk fringe tassels and a lot of sparkle. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Constance Wu's Ralph & Russo Gown Took A Casual 765 Hours To Create," 9 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ganni’s beaded polka-dot bag would pair just as well with a slinky cocktail dress or vintage jeans, ditto Hunting Season’s tasseled cross-body. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Goodbye, Box Bags! These Evening Pouches Are Perfect for Your Holiday Parties," 15 Nov. 2018 The cape includes white ribbons on both shoulders, a large gold tasseled rope connecting both sides, and—the best part—a black velvet hat with an oversized ostrich feather, according to People. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William's Super Ornate Outfit in Scotland Is Full of Royal Symbolism," 6 July 2018 Other standouts include La Double J’s architectural and frond-laden teacups and saucers, and Gucci’s tasseled throw pillow embroidered with a panther’s piercing gaze. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "MatchesFashion.com Launches Homeware—Because Gucci Shouldn’t Be Limited to Your Closet," 2 July 2018 Perhaps with some punchy pool floats (that won’t make your Instagram followers roll their eyes), or a Jenni Kayne tasseled hammock? Elise Taylor, Vogue, "16 Poolside Accessories to Brighten Summer Parties," 15 June 2018 Corn needs about 1 inch of water a week, particularly when the stalks begin to tassel. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Corn," 5 Apr. 2016 Melosh, on the other hand, paid for the graduationcap, gown and tassel herself. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Want to participate in your graduation from an Arizona university? It will cost you," 28 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of tassel


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for tassel


Middle English, clasp, tassel, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *tassellus, alteration of Latin taxillus small die; akin to Latin talus anklebone, die

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Statistics for tassel

Last Updated

4 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for tassel

The first known use of tassel was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for tassel



English Language Learners Definition of tassel

: a decoration made of a bunch of strings fastened at one end
: a flower or group of flowers at the top of a cornstalk


tas·​sel | \ ˈta-səl How to pronounce tassel (audio) \

Kids Definition of tassel

1 : a hanging ornament (as on clothing) made of a bunch of cords of the same length fastened at one end
2 : the male flower cluster on the top of some plants and especially corn

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More from Merriam-Webster on tassel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tassel

Spanish Central: Translation of tassel

Nglish: Translation of tassel for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tassel

What made you want to look up tassel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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