tu·​fa ˈtü-fə How to pronounce tufa (audio)
: tuff
: a porous rock formed as a deposit from springs or streams
specifically : travertine
tufaceous adjective

Examples of tufa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But at Trocadero Soda Springs, an unusual effervescence comes from the water filtering through a crust of tufa made from hard deposits of silica or calcium carbonate. Shoshi Parks, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Jan. 2024 Reflecting the majestic peaks of the Sierra Nevadas, Mono Lake is known for having unique tufa towers (mineral structures) protruding from its waters. Molly O'Brien, Travel + Leisure, 17 Jan. 2024 At Mono Lake, visitors can gaze upon the tufa towers, unique natural structures made from limestone. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 7 Nov. 2023 But today, just to stand beside the small tufa niche where a Jewish child was laid to rest 2,000 years ago feels like a kind of prayer. David Laskin Martin Pauer, New York Times, 1 May 2023 In the morning, kick off the day’s driving with a 30-minute excursion to visit the enormous sapphire tarn of Mono Lake, an alkaline expanse freckled with tufa spires, pinnacles formed by calcium carbonate interacting with freshwater springs in the lakebed. Emily Pennington, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Feb. 2022 Mono Lake, California, Instead of the Dead Sea, Israel Nestled at the edge of the arid Great Basin and the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, Mono Lake is commonly identified by the unique tufa towers (mineral structures protruding from the water). Molly O'Brien, Travel + Leisure, 13 June 2020 Distinct limestone formations called tufa stand out — literally and figuratively — at Mono Lake. Chelsee Lowe, Travel + Leisure, 4 Mar. 2023 Calcareous tufa is found throughout the southern portion of the Classico zone, while Alberese is mainly found in the south-central region. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 18 Dec. 2022

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

Word History


Italian tufo, from Latin tofus

First Known Use

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tufa was in 1770

Dictionary Entries Near tufa

Cite this Entry

“Tufa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tufa. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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