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

/ˈtouzəl//ˈtaʊzəl/