- a pendent ornament consisting commonly of a bunch of threads, small cords, or other strands hanging from a roundish knob or head, used on clothing, in jewelry, on curtains, etc.
- something resembling this, as the inflorescence of certain plants, especially that at the summit of a stalk of corn.
verb (used with object), tas·seled, tas·sel·ing or (especially British) tas·selled, tas·sel·ling.
- to furnish or adorn with tassels.
- to form into a tassel or tassels.
- to remove the tassel from (growing corn) in order to improve the crop.
verb (used without object), tas·seled, tas·sel·ing or (especially British) tas·selled, tas·sel·ling.
- (of corn) to put forth tassels (often followed by out).
- a tuft of loose threads secured by a knot or ornamental knob, used to decorate soft furnishings, clothes, etc
- anything resembling this tuft, esp the tuft of stamens at the tip of a maize inflorescence
verb -sels, -selling or -selled or US -sels, -seling or -seled
- (tr) to adorn with a tassel or tassels
- (intr) (of maize) to produce stamens in a tuft
- (tr) to remove the tassels from
n.c.1300, “mantle fastener,” from Old French tassel “a fastening, clasp” (mid-12c.), from Vulgar Latin *tassellus, said to be from Latin taxillus “small die or cube,” a diminutive of talus “knucklebone, ankle” (see talus (n.1)). But OED finds this doubtful and calls attention to the variant form tossel and suggests association with toss (v.). Meaning “hanging bunch of small cords” is first recorded late 14c.