February 12, 2013
tousle (verb)
\TOWZ-ul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to put into disorder by rough handling How do you use it? "Don't worry. You'll do better next time," the coach said to Weston, as she tousled . . . Are you a word wiz? Which of the following do you think best completes our "
How do you use it?
"Don't worry. You'll do better next time," the coach said to Weston, as she tousled . . .
Are you a word wiz?

Which of the following do you think best completes our "How do you use it?" sentence? You'll know which answer it is if you can guess what usually gets tousled.

"Tousle" is almost always used to describe something that's done to someone's hair. In its past-tense form "tousled," the word is often used as an adjective, as in "the child's tousled hair." "Tousle" has only two close relatives in English. One is "tussle," a verb meaning "to fight or struggle with (someone) by grabbing or pushing," as in "The two basketball players were tussling for the ball." The other is the rare verb "touse," which means basically the same thing as "tousle."
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