tousle was our Word of the Day on 05/31/2016. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of tousle in a Sentence
She tousled the little boy's hair.
his grandfather would always tousle the boy's neatly combed hair
Recent Examples of tousle from the Web
In a photo series by Paola Estrella, a woman tousles a wedding dress, and several hold children or pose in their studios.
Banh mi kogi seitan gluten-free freegan, polaroid tousled etsy ramps marfa godard.
Elsewhere in his show, waiflike male models had intentionally feminine faces, styled with long tousled hair.
In the wake of Fallon's hair-tousling episode with then-candidate Donald Trump, Letterman went on the attack.
The only exception is the apolitical Jimmy Fallon, and he was denounced for tousling Trump’s hair during a playful campaign interview.
The wind rose and fell in heavy gusts; Lim’s hair, tousled even indoors, grew still more animated.
Jeans and boots—and tousled hair—are de rigueur at both places.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tousle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
tousle and Functional Shift
Tousle is a word that has been through what linguists call a "functional shift." That's a fancy way of saying it was originally one part of speech, then gradually came to have an additional function. Tousle started out as a verb back in the 15th century. By the late 19th century, it was also being used as a noun meaning "a tangled mass (as of hair)." Etymologists connect the word to an Old High German word meaning "to pull to pieces."
Origin and Etymology of tousle
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonymsconfuse, derange, disarrange, disarray, discompose, dishevel, disjoint, dislocate, disorganize, disrupt, disturb, hash, jumble, mess (up), mix (up), muddle, muss, rumple, scramble, shuffle, disorder, tumble, upset
Antonymsarrange, array, dispose, draw up, marshal (also marshall), order, organize, range, regulate, straighten (up), tidy
Related Wordsembroil, entangle, snarl, tangle; agitate, perturb, stir (up), unsettle; clutter
Near Antonymsalign (also aline), line, line up, queue; classify, codify, methodize, systematize, systemize; adjust, fix; groom, make up, spruce (up); unscramble
First Known Use of tousle
TOUSLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tousle for English Language Learners
: to make (someone's hair) untidy
TOUSLE Defined for Kids
Definition of tousle for Students
- She tousled my hair.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up tousle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).