1. Any of various chilled, airy desserts made with flavored whipped cream, gelatin, or eggs: chocolate mousse.
2. A molded dish containing meat, fish, or shellfish combined with whipped cream or egg whites and often gelatin.
3. An aerosol foam used to control and style the hair.
tr.v. moussed, mouss·ing, mouss·es
To apply a styling foam to (the hair).
[French, foam, mousse, from Old French, moss, foam, partly of Germanic origin and partly from Latin mulsa, hydromel, from feminine of mulsus, honey-sweet; see melit- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.