Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To loosen and let fall (hair or clothing) in disarray.
  • transitive v. To disarrange the hair or clothing of.
  • transitive v. To throw into disorder.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To throw into disorder; upheave.
  • v. To disarrange or loosen (hair or clothing).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To suffer (the hair) to hang loosely or disorderly; to spread or throw (the hair) in disorder; -- used chiefly in the passive participle.
  • transitive v. To spread loosely or disorderly.
  • intransitive v. To be spread in disorder or hang negligently, as the hair.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cause to have a disordered or neglected appearance; disarrange: said originally of the hair, but now often extended to the dress.
  • To disorder or disarrange the hair or dress of; derange with regard to any covering of loose materials.
  • To be spread or to hang in disorder, as the hair.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. disarrange or rumple; dishevel

Etymologies

Back-formation from disheveled.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • September 3rd, 2003 kerfuffle: from dishevel, ruffle.

    September 3rd, 2003

  • All the way along the valley people were threading, strangely insignificant, among the grey dishevel of stone and rock, like insects.

    The Captain's Doll

  • Once the tedious papers had been signed, Gloria Englehart, Rebecca's agent, whose styled raven hair was so perfectly molded that not even a major replaneting of the solar system could dishevel it, announced, "Congratulations, you're my newest homeowner."

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

  • She reached up to playfully dishevel his shining dark hair with the ruffle of bangs that started over his brow.

    Vulcan’s Glory

  • It was accounted an immodest thing for women to dishevel and unloose their hair publicly: The priest unlooseth the hairs of the women suspected of adultery, when she was to be tried by the bitter water, which was done for greater disgrace.

    From the Talmud and Hebraica

  • Rich chaplets (1) these were, that the winds might not dishevel their comely hair, and this is true i 'faith.

    The Nibelungenlied

  • The doctor looked more dishevel [l] ed than his wife had ever seen him before, even on camping trips.

    Manuscript Draft: Walter Reed: Doctor in Uniform, by Laura Wood, [19 -- ]

  • The greater portion of the "Harold" is obviously, in its coolness and neatness and lightness, the work of one who was unwilling to dishevel himself in the cause of expression, who outlined his sensations reticently rather than effusively, and stood always a little apart.

    Musical Portraits Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers

  • When I sang how Ulysses -- Odysseus I mean -- would have yearned to dishevel her

    The Heptalogia

  • Of course, it will all go sour as the night progresses, as drinks are refilled, the Schlitz cans empty, business suits dishevel, grievances are aired, secrets emerge, frustration and resentment reach a boiling point.

    The Seattle Times

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