Word of the Day : November 28, 2010

disheveled

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adjective dih-SHEV-uld

Definition

: marked by disorder or disarray

Did You Know?

It’s common to wake up after a long night’s sleep with your hair disheveled -- which is appropriate, considering the origins of the word "disheveled." First appearing in English in the late 16th century, "disheveled" derived from Middle English "discheveled," meaning "bareheaded" or "with disordered hair." It is a partial translation of the Anglo-French word "deschevelé," formed by combining the prefix "des-" ("dis-") with "chevoil," the word for hair. Since the early 17th century, however, "disheveled" has been used for things other than hair, including such disparate items as grammar and reputations, that are far from tidy.


Examples

The young man's wrinkled suit gave him a disheveled appearance.

"He looks vaguely familiar, almost like the team's starting quarterback, that Joe Flacco guy. But instead of Flacco's usual disheveled haircut, which generally looks like it was combed with salad tongs, this guy at the mic has a spiky, gelled 'do with lines etched on the side and some other crazy pattern cut into the back of his head." -- From a post by Kevin Cowherd on the Baltimore Sun's Toy Department blog, October 26, 2010



Quick Quiz

What 7-letter word beginning with "u" means "uncombed" or "messy"? The answer is ...


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