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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
Its pièce de résistance is a real sparkler on top — a distinguishing feature of this location, as online reviewers have reported silvery tassels at some other restaurants. Linze Rice, Chicago Tribune, 8 Sep. 2023 Loafers still come in the penny, tassel, and venetian varieties. Brad Lanphear, Men's Health, 5 Sep. 2023 In addition to the famous tassels, the store carries apparel, handbags, stationery, and décor. Liz Cantrell, Travel + Leisure, 3 Sep. 2023 And, in staying true to the fun, inviting vibe, the tassels help add some personality to your space. Michelle Rostamian, Peoplemag, 29 Aug. 2023 The removable wrist strap and stylish tassel make this a fashionable yet functional accessory to have in your collection. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 27 Aug. 2023 Roll the tassel back and forth using a sponge to moisten your hand as needed. New York Times, 27 July 2023 The graduates lined up, brushing off their gowns and adjusting classmates’ tassels and stoles. Aaron Morrison, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 June 2023 Inspired by wedding season and springtime festivities, the collection consists of romantic ensembles made with statement embellishments and fabrics like sequins, feathers, tassels, taffeta and silk. People Staff, Peoplemag, 22 June 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 See More

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 4 Oct. 2023.

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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