Definition of tousle in US English:

tousle

verb

[with object]usually as adjective tousled
  • Make (something, especially a person's hair) untidy.

    ‘Nathan's tousled head appeared in the hatchway’
    • ‘A head with rosy cheeks, tousled hair, and flashing glasses suddenly appeared before me.’
    • ‘This was a different Nicole - tousled hair, sweat pants, t-shirt, and no makeup.’
    • ‘Her hair was tousled from what looked like a rough night of sleep.’
    • ‘Slightly jumpy, Michael peered into a mirror and tousled his hair, constantly shifting his weight.’
    • ‘He had dark tousled hair that appeared to have been cut by a barber in a rush.’
    • ‘His dark brown hair was slightly tousled, falling onto his forehead.’
    • ‘There was a slight breeze in the air that tousled Lena's hair, stray tendrils from her ponytail framing her face.’
    • ‘Her dark brown hair was tousled and tangled with signs of restless sleep.’
    • ‘Playfully, he tousled my hair, making me once again feel like I was seven.’
    • ‘His brown skin glistens in the burning noon sun, and his hair is tousled, streaked brown.’
    • ‘One boy with a shock of blond hair tousled her hair affectionately.’
    • ‘He looked tired, his blond hair was tousled from sleep, and he had somehow found a loud orange shirt and green trousers.’
    • ‘His usual gelled hair was tousled into a mess, his skin pale and pallid.’
    • ‘She had tousled blonde hair that hung limply around her shoulders.’
    • ‘The wind tousled his hair and it became a little messy, and I laughed.’
    • ‘Cody was fully dressed, but his hair was tousled, and he was yawning.’
    • ‘My hair was tousled around my face, a single strand tickling my nose.’
    • ‘There was blood in his dirty tousled brown hair and suddenly, as if he had sensed her watching him, he looked up and his eyes met hers.’
    • ‘She's pretty in a low-key way - long tousled black hair, perfect make-up-free skin, full lips and searching dark eyes.’
    • ‘Alex tousled my hair for luck - which immediately set me off because I'd spent an hour slicking it down.’
    untidy, messy, unkempt, disordered, disarranged, messed up, rumpled, dishevelled, bedraggled
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘handle roughly or rudely’): frequentative of dialect touse ‘handle roughly’, of Germanic origin and related to German zausen. Compare with tussle.

Pronunciation

tousle

/ˈtaʊzəl//ˈtouzəl/