To tousle is to mess up. The disadvantage of riding in a flashy red convertible is that the wind might tousle your careful hairdo.

This old verb with a solid English pedigree has earned the right to only a part-time job after its 600 years of service to the language. Though it means "to make untidy," it's a rare writer these days who applies it to anything but hair — and then usually only by way of the adjective tousled. The origin is Germanic, and tousle is closely related to both tussle and tease.

Definitions of tousle

v disarrange or rumple; dishevel

“The strong wind tousled my hair”
dishevel, tangle
Type of:
destroy the arrangement or order of

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