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tas·​sel ˈta-səl How to pronounce tassel (audio)
 usually of corn  ˈtä-,
: a dangling ornament made by laying parallel a bunch of cords or threads of even length and fastening them at one end
: something resembling a tassel
especially : the terminal male inflorescence of some plants and especially corn

Illustration of tassel

Illustration of tassel
  • tassel 1


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

transitive verb

: to adorn with tassels

intransitive verb

: to put forth tassel inflorescences

Examples of tassel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Eckstrom often employs a hint of the heady color in small ways, such as decorative trim (a red tassel on a cabinet key, for example). Kathryn O'Shea Evans, Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2024 Starting just below her hips were layers of tassels, adding depth and dimension to her red carpet look. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 Sprays of tassels, eucalyptus leaves, and ferns add to the colorful array; plus, the vibrant purples, oranges, and pinks will make a striking, beautiful statement throughout the season. Jamie Allison Sanders, Peoplemag, 18 Mar. 2024 The Wonder Woman star arrived wearing a colorful, patterned shawl that featured an array of tassels. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 25 Jan. 2024 Tie large and small tassels to doorknobs, the keys to a writing desk, or the pull of a dresser drawer. Charlotte Observer, 1 Feb. 2024 For the most decorative effect, choose fabrics with eye-catching colors and designs, and have fun with trims, tassels, fringe, or bold banding to give your treatments a finished look. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Feb. 2024 Around her hips, black tassels create the illusion of a full skirt. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 13 Feb. 2024 The area outside the Tokyo Dome was packed hours before doors opened on the first night Wednesday, with fans decked out in glitter, tassels, tiaras and kimonos. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 7 Feb. 2024
The Colombian singer wore flowers for earmuffs, and spread her arms to reveal rainbow day-glo tassels streaming from her elbows. Suzy Exposito, Los Angeles Times, 4 Dec. 2023 Corn was just starting to tassel across much of the Midwest, including fields in southern Indiana, a golden crown signaling the end of the season. Journal Sentinel, 2 Nov. 2022

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near tassel

Cite this Entry

“Tassel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tassel. Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
tas·​sel ˈtas-əl How to pronounce tassel (audio)
 also especially of corn  ˈtäs-,
: a hanging ornament made of a bunch of cords fastened at one end
: something resembling a tassel
especially : the male flower cluster on the top of some plants and especially corn


2 of 2 verb
tasseled or tasselled; tasseling or tasselling
: to adorn with or put forth tassels

More from Merriam-Webster on tassel

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