Definition of dishevelled in English:
- She twirled a strand of her long hair and smirked at my disheveled appearance.
- She smiled happily as she approached us, and despite our disheveled appearance, we managed to kneel.
- We received a few strange looks at our disheveled appearances, but I knew for now that I wouldn't be left to meet them alone.
Late Middle English: from obsolete dishevely, from Old French deschevele, past participle of descheveler (based on chevel 'hair', from Latin capillus). The original sense was 'having the hair uncovered'; later, referring to the hair itself, 'hanging loose', hence 'disordered, untidy'. Compare with unkempt.
In the past, when no respectable man or woman would dream of going out without a hat, headscarf, or similar head covering, anyone seen bare-headed would be regarded as very scruffy and dishevelled. The word comes from Old French chevel ‘hair’, from Latin capillus, the source also of capillary (mid 17th century). The original sense was ‘having the hair uncovered’, then, referring to the hair itself, ‘hanging loose’, hence ‘disordered, untidy’. See unkempt
- Example sentences
- Later, they all relaxed, like actors after the performance, unmindful of their attire and a slight air of dishevelment.
- Innocence and dishevelment go hand in hand when you're eight years old and rather bored.
- He took one look at their sopping clothes, the chunks of food all over them and the general dishevelment of their appearance before laughing.
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