tussle

noun
tus·​sle | \ ˈtə-səl How to pronounce tussle (audio) \

Definition of tussle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a physical contest or struggle : scuffle
2 : an intense argument, controversy, or struggle

tussle

verb
tussled; tussling\ ˈtə-​s(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce tussling (audio) \

Definition of tussle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to struggle roughly : scuffle

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Examples of tussle in a Sentence

Noun

The suspect was arrested after a tussle with a security guard. a tussle for control of the company The President is in for another tussle with Congress.

Verb

The two basketball players tussled for the ball. The residents of the neighborhood tussled with city hall for years about the broken parking meters.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This deeply entertaining match was an all-court tussle in which the longer rallies were often brimming with changes of direction and spin. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "2019 U.S. Open Highlights: Coco Gauff Wins the Night," 29 Aug. 2019 He was arrested in Johannesburg airport in December, and has been the subject of a legal and diplomatic tussle ever since. The Economist, "A $2bn loan scandal sank Mozambique’s economy," 22 Aug. 2019 Naturally, builders like to record and share videos of these robotic tussles. Andrew Norton, Ars Technica, "YouTube flags robot battle videos as “animal fights”," 22 Aug. 2019 The fight over the memo underscores a broader concern among U.S. intelligence agencies that political tussles could cause longtime allies to share fewer intelligence reports. Washington Post, "Republicans vote to release memo alleging FBI missteps in surveillance of Trump campaign operative," 29 Jan. 2018 The absence of new worrisome turns in the U.S.-China trade tussle may have also helped keep investors in a buying mood. Washington Post, "Asian shares mixed following broad rally for US stocks," 10 Aug. 2019 As the two men tussle, the attacker’s ball hat falls off. Doug Phillips, sun-sentinel.com, "Store trashed, clerk attacked after ‘already intoxicated’ customers were refused booze," 9 Aug. 2019 The absence of new worrisome turns in the U.S.-China trade tussle may have also helped keep investors in a buying mood Thursday. Los Angeles Times, "Stocks soar as investors push through anxiety about U.S.-China trade war," 8 Aug. 2019 While intraparty tussles are perennial in politics, this one comes against a unique backdrop: an unpopular, mendacious, norm-trampling President. Molly Ball, Time, "What Do the Democrats Stand For? Inside a Fight Over America's Future," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Candidates briefly tussled over components of the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to combat climate change proposed by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Adam Edelman, NBC News, "What's the Green New Deal, and where do candidates stand on it?," 1 Aug. 2019 In the days leading up to Wednesday’s debate, Biden tussled with Harris’s and Cory Booker’s campaigns over Biden’s role in crafting tough-on-crime laws in the 1980s and 1990s. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Status Quo Joe," 1 Aug. 2019 Politicians have tussled for years over the fate of the Tongass, a massive stretch of southeastern Alaska replete with old-growth spruce, hemlock and cedar, rivers running with salmon, and dramatic fjords. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump pushes to allow new logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest," 27 Aug. 2019 Celebrities, moguls, investors and even royals have been tussling over the mountaintop parcel for nearly half a century — and for good reason. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Once listed for $1 billion. Sold for $100,000. What just happened?," 20 Aug. 2019 The two countries have tussled over various proposals to resolve the dispute, with both sides claiming the other has ignored requests for negotiations. New York Times, "As Japan and South Korea Feud Intensifies, U.S. Seems Unwilling, or Unable, to Help," 4 Aug. 2019 Johnson and Statham are fun to watch verbally tussle, though their chemistry shines best in group efforts, whether getting tortured by Brixton and his goons or teaming with Hattie. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Hobbs and Shaw' sputters as Dwayne Johnson's 'Fast and Furious' spinoff," 1 Aug. 2019 Families have always tussled over food preferences, of course, but that struggle has been exacerbated by the proliferation of carb-curbing options, giving picky eaters near-endless ways to personalize their carb selection. Anne Marie Chaker, WSJ, "Family Dinner Is Now a Battle Over Carbohydrates," 10 July 2019 Protesters and the junta were tussling over who would control the country’s transition to democracy. The Economist, "Pro-democracy protesters are slaughtered in Khartoum," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tussle.' 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 tussle

Noun

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1638, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tussle

Verb

Middle English (Scots) tussillen, frequentative of Middle English -tusen, -tousen to tousle — more at touse

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Statistics for tussle

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tussle

The first known use of tussle was in 1629

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More Definitions for tussle

tussle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tussle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a short fight or struggle
: an argument or a dispute

tussle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tussle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fight or struggle with someone by grabbing or pushing
: to argue or compete with someone

tussle

noun
tus·​sle | \ ˈtə-səl How to pronounce tussle (audio) \

Kids Definition of tussle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a short fight or struggle
2 : a rough argument or a struggle against difficult odds

tussle

verb
tussled; tussling

Kids Definition of tussle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to struggle roughly : scuffle
2 : to argue or compete with

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More from Merriam-Webster on tussle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tussle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tussle

Spanish Central: Translation of tussle

Nglish: Translation of tussle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tussle for Arabic Speakers

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