tas·​sel | \ˈta-səl, 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 \

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

Schutz Tassel Block Heels Editor’s Pick: A block heel is definitely a more comfortable option should teetering on stilettos not work for you, and these tassels lend a fun detail to this go-to spring staple. Sharon Kanter, PEOPLE.com, "5 Must-Have Spring Shoes According to Insiders - Plus, See the Epic New Bloomingdale's Shoe Floor!," 4 Apr. 2018 Today, this summery style comes in countless iterations — some accented with tassels and pompoms, while others are rendered in interesting shapes. Sari Anne Tuschman, latimes.com, "Summer’s hottest bag trend shouldn’t be saved for just beach days," 12 July 2018 In his bicorn hat with tassels suggesting the fluffy ears of an incorrigible dog, James Whiteside’s Harlequin took charge of his character with irrepressible energy and unbounded confidence. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘Harlequinade’ Review: Humor and History Take Center Stage," 6 June 2018 The rainbow raffia Straw Travel Tote from Loeffler Randall has removable pompom tassels. Sari Anne Tuschman, latimes.com, "Summer’s hottest bag trend shouldn’t be saved for just beach days," 12 July 2018 Rain is necessary at this point in the plant’s life cycle as the plants produce pollen on the tassel, according to Rose. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Harford corn crop delayed by spring rain, challenged by summer heat," 9 July 2018 Sway New York designer Mignonne Gavigan is best-known for her beaded scarf necklaces, beaded bracelets and tassel jewelry, too. Carolyne Zinko, SFChronicle.com, "Style Radar: Express yourself with these Pride picks," 22 June 2018 The British socialite dressed in a forest green jumpsuit for the event, paired with a white blazer and lilac Bimba y Lola tassel earrings. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Steps Out in a Chic Jumpsuit After Confirming Her Pregnancy," 15 June 2018 If your student is turning the tassel this spring, congratulations. Tom Voelk, New York Times, "Cars That Will Get Your Grad Down the Road of Life," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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

14 Oct 2018

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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 \

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

See 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 express warning or disapproval

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