Definition of tassel in English:



  • 1A tuft of loosely hanging threads, cords, or other material knotted at one end and attached for decoration to home furnishings, clothing, or other items.

    • ‘Accessorize with tassels, decorative tie-backs and other touches.’
    • ‘It had curtains of velvety maroon, which were tied back with gold tassels.’
    • ‘A fascinating mix of braids, tassels, chenilles and decorative trimmings in delicate silken yarn complements the entire package.’
    • ‘On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, they will learn specialist Japanese braid, cord and tassel making, under Waldman's trained instruction.’
    • ‘Also, the rails carried black cords with black tassels hanging down, giving a sombre effect to the wooden coffin clamped to the trolley platform.’
    • ‘Painted dragons hold up these canvasses, just as the carved silvered and tinted flying dragons support the blue silk satin window draperies, fringed with gold tassels.’
    • ‘Or see your local retailer for advice on replacing the existing cords with safety tassels.’
    • ‘Each panel is embroidered before assembling the skirt and decorative welting, cord and tassels are added for just the perfect finishing touch.’
    • ‘She wore a bright red dress that fell to her knees in length, with black petticoats adorned with gold colored tassels.’
    • ‘He was garbed in a thick robe of blood red, trimmed with a golden thread and tassels.’
    • ‘Wrap tassel drapery cords around the pillow and tie them to the chair.’
    • ‘She rode her bike closer to him, clutching the white handles with the decorative purple and pink tassels hanging from it.’
    • ‘The flag hung from a gold-painted dowel and was adorned with gold tassels.’
    • ‘Their traditional loincloths are sometimes decorated with bright tassels and pompoms.’
    • ‘My gown had three velvet stripes on each flowing sleeve and my tassel was gold.’
    • ‘They had tassels of gold strung on their painted horns.’
    • ‘The New Testament records that observant Judeans wore decorations called tassels on their garments.’
    • ‘Some loincloths were painted and decorated with tassels, which symbolized falling rain.’
    • ‘Avoid strangulation with window-blind cords by installing breakaway tassels.’
    • ‘So he got back in touch with Margaret who quickly rustled up two pairs, one with black and gold satin stripes, the other covered in sequins complete with gold tassels.’
    comb, plume, tuft, topknot, mane
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The tufted head of some plants, especially a flower head with prominent stamens at the top of a cornstalk.
      • ‘Depending on plant growth stage, these tiny cutworms may proceed to the unfolding whorl where they feed on parts of the emerging tassel, or move directly to the ear or leaf axil.’
      • ‘He peeled back a tassel, exposing irregular kernels.’
      • ‘Older hybrids had large tassels producing pollen up to two weeks.’
      • ‘Also counted was the number of tassel branches of each plant, including the main spike.’
      • ‘Pollination used both stored pollen and fresh pollen collected at the time of pollination from the plants whose tassels had remained attached.’
      • ‘Their evidence that it represents a new species is based on differences in ecology and tassel and plant morphology.’
      • ‘The male flowers are on the tassels at the top of the plant; the female flowers form the silk that hangs out of the developing ears.’
      • ‘Anthers from developing tassels were staged with the acetocarmine squash technique.’
      • ‘In the maize tassel, gibberellin concentration is 100-fold lower than in the developing ears.’
      • ‘Crucial to fully comprehending the scene are the blades of pale green grass with their flowering pale yellow tassels.’
      • ‘The fields of tall corn she drives through are beautiful, gentle waves of green, wind-tossed tassels of gold.’
      • ‘Everyone loves the drooping fragrant lilac tassels of Wisteria, but it is not a plant for a small garden, particularly as your neighbour may not relish a Wisteria invasion.’
      • ‘Symptoms occur on all plant tissues, including leaves, tassels, ears, and less commonly on stalks.’
      • ‘Others bear odd-shaped ears, such as one that looks like an onion bulb or another that is branched, with a tassel resembling a Christmas tree.’
      • ‘Flames rush through patches of cane, burning off extraneous tassels and blades, leaving only the sucrose-rich stalks.’
      • ‘Fresh pollen was collected from anthers on plants by gently tapping the stems of plants while holding a collecting tray below the tassels.’
      • ‘We move on to the cornfield and possible ways the leaves, corn and tassels might be rendered.’
      • ‘During pollination the female portion of the plant receives pollen from the tassel, resulting in fertilization of the ovule (kernel).’
      • ‘Florets were removed from the middle third of the main rachis on fully emerged tassels prior to anther exsertion.’
      • ‘Bacterial stalk rot can affect the plant at any node from the soil surface up to the ear leaves and tassels.’


  • 1[with object] Provide with a tassel or tassels.

    ‘a tasseled tablecloth’
    • ‘Fifty years on, one sniff of cigar smoke has me remembering Nick the Greek profaning in his strange accent at a bad hand of cards, gramps' bald head wrinkling as he laughed, and the red tasselled table cloth they dealt their hands on.’
    • ‘The man, tall and broad and dressed in a sweater and tasseled loafers, wraps his left arm around the woman's back.’
    • ‘Tony had brought in a low table, and rich, velvety, tasseled cushions.’
    • ‘I walked over towards the windows and started to unravel the gold tasseled ropes so that the curtain would prevent any light from shining through.’
    • ‘I reached for the yellow tasseled pillow that was placed on the couch, wanting to beat Sophie with it a million times over.’
    • ‘When we met, I did not recognise my book - it was tasselled with yellow stickers, highlighted and marked on every page.’
    • ‘For the most drama, try using deep eggplant in a single piece of furniture, such as a sofa or perhaps a trio of tasseled pillows.’
    • ‘He does not, under any circumstances, wear tasseled loafers.’
    • ‘She gathered her tasseled silk shawl around her and hurried to the sofas by the roaring fire.’
    • ‘He often incorporated sofa-lined niches or low-lying daybeds abundantly piled with tasseled cushions.’
    • ‘The focus of the voyeuristic mirror's gaze are two plump, tasselled purple cushions which are probably intended to serve as pillows.’
    • ‘Anne came into Katherine's chamber a little later, dressed and carrying a small tasseled handbag in her black gloved hands.’
    • ‘Accessorise the look with long tasselled shoulder bags in patch-work leather and butter soft suede boots.’
    • ‘I repeat, this is not a man who should be describing others as wearing pink tasseled slippers and conical hats covered in polka dots.’
    • ‘The men wore loose tunics and breeches, both in lovely colours, and wide tasselled sashes and embroidered vests.’
    • ‘Florence's instrument looks to be covered with a tasseled cloth.’
    • ‘Her bangs - fringe, British people called it, though the word put David in mind of some tasseled edge of a rug - ended just above her eyebrows.’
    • ‘Soon we were above ground in a silvery twelve-seater custom van, my seatmate fiddling with a loaded ashtray, fine gray dust sprinkling his shiny black tasseled loafers.’
    • ‘Zouave dress of short, embroidered jacket, baggy trousers and tasselled cap was copied by regiments on both sides in the American civil war.’
    • ‘Nicki Pumpkin's collection of upbeat streetwear has a distinct rock chick feel, with plenty of stud details, zips, shocking pink and tasselled PVC.’
  • 2North American [no object] (of corn or other plants) form tassels.

    • ‘Plant height and leaf numbers of maize plants were measured at the tasselling stage.’
    • ‘However, last year corn leaf aphids remained abundant in some field after tasseling, and the feeding appeared to cause death of the tissues fed upon.’
    • ‘Corn is tasselling and although it is hot, the high humidity should prevent problems with pollination.’
    • ‘Lesions generally first appear near tasseling and disease spread occurs until maturity.’
    • ‘If supplies are limited, you may want to delay water application until the crop begins to tassel.’
    • ‘The second phase of Stewart's wilt of corn occurs after tasseling and may be observed within the next three to four weeks.’
    • ‘Most dryland corn will tassel when plants are 3-4 feet tall.’
    • ‘Corn began to tassel across much of the state this week just as the record-breaking heat wave gave in to several days of ‘brisk’ summer temperatures in the 80s.’
    • ‘Current UNL chlorophyll meter recommendations for corn before tasseling are to apply more nitrogen if the leaf reading is less than 95 percent of the well fertilized nitrogen strip.’
    • ‘The maize in her two lima plot is already in its tasseling stage and according to her, green maize should be ready between late January and early February.’
    • ‘Corn tasseling started last week in many fields.’
    • ‘The high temperatures came right during the critical corn tasseling and silking stage.’
    • ‘And now as August draws to a close, many of us are wondering whether there will be enough warm days left to mature the corn that is just barely tasseling.’
    • ‘The second phase of Stewart's Wilt occurs after tasseling.’
    • ‘Treat this soybean R3 - R4 stage with the same importance you would treat your corn tasseling and silking periods.’
    • ‘Survey fields for damage from leaf blight disease at tasseling.’
    • ‘Application of nitrogen after tasselling is rarely effective and should be avoided.’
    • ‘If an insecticide treatment is warranted in corn fields, it should be made when 95% of the plants in a field have tasseled.’
    • ‘Pollen begins to be shed two days after tasseling and continues for five to eight days.’
    • ‘Also, studies have shown that water stress early in corn has much less of an impact on yield than water stress during tasseling.’


Middle English (also denoting a clasp for a cloak): from Old French tassel clasp of unknown origin.