\ˈfər \
furred; furring

Definition of fur 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cover, line, trim, or clothe with fur

2 : to coat or clog as if with fur

3 : to apply furring to

intransitive verb

: to become coated or clogged as if with fur


noun, often attributive

Definition of fur (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a piece of the dressed pelt of an animal used to make, trim, or line wearing apparel

2 : an article of clothing made of or with fur

3 : the hairy coat of a mammal especially when fine, soft, and thick also : such a coat with the skin

4 : a coating resembling fur: such as

a : a coat of epithelial debris on the tongue

b : the thick pile of a fabric (such as chenille)

Definition of fur (Entry 3 of 3)


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Other Words from fur


furless \ˈfər-ləs \ adjective

Synonyms for fur

Synonyms: Noun

hide, leather, pelt, skin

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Did You Know?

When the word fur first came into English, it was a verb that meant “to line a person’s garment with the soft hair of an animal.” The noun developed from the verb. First, the noun referred to the animal hair that was used for lining and trimming a garment. Then it came to refer to the hairy coat on the animal itself. The verb, not much used anymore, was taken from the early French verb furrer, meaning “to stuff, fill, line.” It was formed from an earlier French word meaning “a sheath.” Thus our word fur for the hairy coat that covers or encases an animal traces back to a word for a sheath that encases a knife or sword.

Examples of fur in a Sentence


The cat has black-and-white fur. The rabbit's fur is soft. Her gloves are lined with fur. He made his fortune trading furs in the 17th century. Her new fur is a full-length mink coat. a teddy bear with soft fur
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Even a few hours in a fruit bowl on a summer afternoon is enough to fur them with mold, after which emergency measures may or may not help. 3. New York Times, "The Best Fruits of Summer, Ranked," 22 May 2018 One vendor sold from racks of authentic furs while another offered a fur tissue box covers and fur hot water bottles. Beth Spotswood, San Francisco Chronicle, "Edgewood Auxiliary puts on a high-end fundraiser for Bay Area kids," 1 May 2018 His usual hot-spot area is fully furred and not itchy. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "So You Want to Get Your Dog on a Raw-Foot Diet," 24 Apr. 2018 But full lips and furred brows aside, her influence on fashion is debatable. Ruth La Ferla, New York Times, "Nothing Comes Between Brooke Shields and Her New Line for QVC," 14 Mar. 2018 And now with fellow early adopters like Naomi Campbell joining in, Rihanna has helped to create a more general desire for footwear that is fringed, furred, and feathered. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Rihanna Loves Her Yeti Boots—And You Can Too," 26 Oct. 2017 There’s pathos in Newt’s mission to save these furred and feathered beings, an honorable calling that serves as a bewitched if overly tidy and cute vision of our own better natures. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Eddie Redmayne’s Guide to ‘Fantastic Beasts’ SEPT. 12, 2016," 17 Nov. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some will wear traditional fur hats, and a group of stunt riders will perform on horseback. Washington Post, "Cossacks under scrutiny as they prepare to guard World Cup," 8 June 2018 During the protest, men wearing the traditional fur hats of the Cossacks mingled among the crowd, moving in groups of a dozen or so and carrying leather whips. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "Aleksei Navalny Detained at Protest on Eve of Putin’s Inauguration," 5 May 2018 Like fur on pictures of animals, or crinkly fabric on a picture of the sun? Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Science CITY opens at Betty Brinn Children's Museum," 5 July 2018 Voyageurs National Park of Minnesota was a perfect fit at Isle a la Cache, the fur trading museum. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Traveling art exhibit on national parks opens in Will County," 19 June 2018 The rest of the equipment may have come from employees of fur companies, missionaries or U.S. government surveyors. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "150 years ago on St. Paul Island, Knock Down and Skin ‘Em became Alaska’s first baseball team," 17 June 2018 Kass Smiley was watering flowers near the intersection of I Street and 13th Avenue in Anchorage's South Addition neighborhood around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when a bear with dark brown fur raced by, headed north. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, an elusive cinnamon-colored black bear sprinted through downtown Anchorage," 13 June 2018 The video opens with GRANT -- real name Alma Caroline Cederlof -- clad in red fur and plaid pants. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, "GRANT Releases Bold New Visual For 'Catcher in the Rye': Watch," 23 May 2018 To mitigate these risks, sunscreens are strongly recommended for dogs with light-colored skin, hairless areas and for areas with sparse fur. Patty Khuly, miamiherald, "In summer, your light-skinned dogs need nontoxic sunscreen | Miami Herald," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fur


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fur


Middle English furren, from Anglo-French furrer to stuff, fill, line, from fuerre sheath, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German fuotar sheath; akin to Greek pōma lid, cover, Sanskrit pāti he protects

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Phrases Related to fur

fur fly

Statistics for fur

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Time Traveler for fur

The first known use of fur was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fur



English Language Learners Definition of fur

: the hairy coat of an animal especially when it is soft and thick

: the fur of an animal used for clothing

: a piece of clothing (such as a coat) made with fur


\ˈfər \

Kids Definition of fur

1 : the hairy coat of a mammal especially when fine, soft, and thick

2 : a piece of the pelt of an animal

3 : an article of clothing made with fur

Other Words from fur

furred \ˈfərd \ adjective


noun, often attributive
\ˈfər \

Medical Definition of fur 

1 : the hairy coat of a mammal especially when fine, soft, and thick

2 : a coat of epithelial debris on the tongue

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Comments on fur

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lying above or upon

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