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 The building has high ceilings, stone arches and crushed velvet with tassels. Briana Rice, Cincinnati.com, "Ghost Baby? New nightclub will open five stories below Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine," 21 Nov. 2019 This pack comes with 12 pendants and 12 colors of floss to embroider unique designs as well as colorful tassels and wooden beads. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "The 2019 Good Housekeeping Best Toy Awards," 18 Oct. 2019 The silk fringed tassels which adorn the bodice are meant to represent strength. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Crazy Rich Asians," 8 Aug. 2018 The circles, at times, appeared controlled, such as the tiny perforated eyelets on a sporty white mini dress with long tassels. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Guest models Mirren, Longoria energize L’Oréal fashion show," 28 Sep. 2019 After audio played of Cowell congratulating her, Queen Robert stripped out of her dress to reveal two nipple tassels ready and waiting for a celebratory spin. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "Bushwig 2019: All the Best Things We Saw," 9 Sep. 2019 As its name suggests, the Knysa Chameleon necklace is a shade-shifter: the double row of tonal rough diamonds around the white baguette diamond necklace can be removed, as can the tassel with a 5-carat pear-cut diamond drop. Vogue, "Haute Couture Jewelry Report: A New Generation Alights," 9 July 2019 The men square off, pulling the tassels around their waists to the side, and then slap their thighs. James Whitlow Delano, National Geographic, "Here’s your ultimate Tokyo itinerary," 25 Apr. 2019 Stadium operators, for their part, care far less if a fan is carrying a sleek clear crossbody, adorned with tassels in the team’s colors, or a Ziploc gallon bag. Shannon Fitzgerald, Fortune, "Behind the Rise in ‘Stadium’ Bags—and Why You’ll Be Needing One at Football Games This Fall," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In a typical year, Illinois farmer Rodney Weinzierl’s corn would be more than 9 feet tall by now and a week away from tasseling. Lynn Brezosky, ExpressNews.com, "Beef prices not expected to jump because Midwest flooding," 21 June 2019 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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Time Traveler for tassel

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tassel

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Tassel.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tassel. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for tassel


How to pronounce tassel (audio)

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

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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