fur

1 of 3

verb

furred; furring

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

fur

2 of 3

noun

often attributive
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)
furless adjective

fur

3 of 3

abbreviation

furlong

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

Noun 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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The foils can also retract, meaning that the boats aren't at risk of marine growth, which could otherwise fur them up. Julia Buckley, CNN, 28 July 2022 Perhaps some day Levi will watch one of his father’s cartoons and notice a mama bear with tender eyes and fur the color of coffee. Soudi Jiménez, Los Angeles Times, 22 June 2021 See all Example Sentences for fur 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fur.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near fur

Cite this Entry

“Fur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fur. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

fur

noun
ˈfər
1
: a piece of the pelt of an animal
2
: an article of clothing made with fur
3
: the hairy coat of a mammal especially when fine, soft, and thick
furless
-ləs
adjective
furred
ˈfərd
adjective
Etymology

Noun

Middle English furre "a piece of animal skin used to line a garment," from furren (verb) "to line a garment with fur," from early French furrer, "to stuff, fill, line," from fuerre "sheath," of Germanic origin

Word Origin
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 animal hair 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 coat that covers or encases an animal traces back to a word for a sheath that encases a knife or sword.

Medical Definition

fur

noun
often attributive
1
: the hairy coat of a mammal especially when fine, soft, and thick
2
: a coat of epithelial debris on the tongue

More from Merriam-Webster on fur

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!