To struggle or fight in a rough, physical manner.


US English

UK English

Part of speech

Verb, noun.


Scuffle, brawl, melee, fray, altercation.


Peace, harmony, agreement, concord.

Example sentences

  • The two boys started to tussle over a toy, but their parents quickly intervened.
  • After a long day at work, John found himself in a tussle with a pickpocket on the subway.
  • The political candidates engaged in a verbal tussle during the debate.
  • The football players got into a tussle on the field after a rough tackle.


The word “tussle” can be used as both a verb and a noun to describe a physical or verbal struggle between individuals or groups. The term often implies a rough, chaotic, or uncontrolled nature of the conflict.

The origin of the word “tussle” can be traced back to the Middle English term “tousilen,” which means to “mix up” or “tangle.” It is related to the Old Norse word “tasa,” which means “to entangle” or “to twist.” The word evolved over time to mean a physical struggle, often in a disorderly or untidy manner.

The term “tussle” can be used in a variety of contexts. For example, it can describe a physical fight or altercation between two people, such as a wrestling match or a street fight. It can also be used to describe a verbal argument or disagreement between two individuals or groups, such as a debate or a heated discussion.

In some cases, the term “tussle” can be used more figuratively to describe a struggle or competition between two parties. For example, a company may be said to be in a tussle with a rival business over market share, or a politician may be said to be in a tussle with his or her opponent over votes.

Overall, the word “tussle” is a versatile term that can be used to describe a wide range of physical and verbal struggles, as well as more figurative conflicts between individuals or groups. Its use suggests a sense of disorder, chaos, and roughness, and is often associated with uncontrolled or untidy situations