\ ˈtəft How to pronounce tuft (audio) \

Definition of tuft

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a small cluster of elongated flexible outgrowths attached or close together at the base and free at the opposite ends especially : a growing bunch of grasses or close-set plants
b : a bunch of soft fluffy threads cut off short and used as ornament
3 : mound
4 : any of the projections of yarns drawn through a fabric or making up a fabric so as to produce a surface of raised loops or cut pile


tufted; tufting; tufts

Definition of tuft (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to provide or adorn with a tuft
b : to make (a fabric) of or with tufts
2 : to make (something, such as a mattress) firm by stitching at intervals and covering the depressions produced on the surface with tufts

intransitive verb

: to form into or grow in tufts

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tuft


tufted \ ˈtəf-​təd How to pronounce tufted (audio) \ adjective
tufty \ ˈtəf-​tē How to pronounce tufty (audio) \ adjective


tufter noun

Examples of tuft in a Sentence

Noun A tuft of hair stuck out from under his hat.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Its hind wing boasts yellow tufts called the androconia. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The World’s Most Interesting Insects," 29 Apr. 2020 Men review ledgers and newspapers, or scrutinize sample tufts through wire-frame spectacles. Julian Lucas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 25 May 2020 This metallic, blue-green jewel beetle has a cylindrical body with a surface coarsely punctured and covered with tufts of long, waxy, whitish, yellow or orange hairs. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The World’s Most Interesting Insects," 29 Apr. 2020 So there were our beds, speckled with currant-size turds and tufts of bloated, discolored insulation. David Sedaris, The New Yorker, "Hurricane Season," 25 Nov. 2019 Research focusing on the interactions of the tuft cell could offer a glimpse of how organ systems work together. Quanta Magazine, "Cells That ‘Taste’ Danger Set Off Immune Responses," 15 Nov. 2019 Just like 68-year-old Collins had back in the mid-‘80s, the baby has a small tuft of hair on the top of his head, and also shares the drummer’s big blue eyes. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Does This Baby Jesus Statue Look More Like Phil Collins or Nicolas Cage? A Debate Goes Viral," 21 Nov. 2019 After Trump’s tweets this summer, Fouse gave his signature rodent a tuft of Trumpian yellow hair and a new address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "‘Baltimore: Actually, I like it.’ Give the gift of Charm City snark this holiday season," 2 Dec. 2019 Farhan Farooq, a skinny 13-year-old with a tuft of black hair, was the youngest. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "Among the 3,000 detained by Indian authorities in Kashmir: children," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These included residential species like Carolina wrens and tufted titmice, as well as indigo buntings, hooded warblers, and other birds that spend their winters in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "Migratory birds in the Eastern US are struggling to adapt to climate change," 27 May 2020 The mattresses are hand-tufted and made in California. Mariana Zapata, NBC News, "Best eco-friendly mattress 2020: Avocado, Birch, Nectar and more," 8 May 2020 Seriously, how many sofas have diamond-tufted shearling? Los Angeles Times, "Drake’s Toronto mansion is, in a word, outrageous — and has Twitter talking," 8 Apr. 2020 Other animals that experienced mass die-offs include sea lions, tufted puffins, and baleen whales. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "A blob of hot water in the Pacific Ocean killed a million seabirds, scientists say," 16 Jan. 2020 For a split second, the elusive predator was illuminated in my headlights and seemed frozen in mid-stride, running across a warm desert night, its long legs, tufted ears, and beautiful reddish-brown fur with black spots forever etched in my memory. Don Lyman, BostonGlobe.com, "Now seen in the suburbs: the elusive bobcat," 29 Jan. 2020 One of these was tufted, like a tiny feather duster. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, "Forgotten trove of fossil feathers belonged to tiny polar dinosaurs," 15 Jan. 2020 Males grow to about 13 pounds in captivity and the oldest captive tufted capuchin lived to be 45-years-old, according to the New England Primate Conservatory. David Williams, CNN, "Vern the monkey, who was hurt protecting his son from an intruder, has died," 1 Nov. 2019 And the sideboard table is metal, but tufted for interest. Nikhita Mahtani, House Beautiful, "This Home Teaches Us Everything We Need to Know About Decorating For Kids," 17 May 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of tuft


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


1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for tuft


Middle English, modification of Middle French touffe, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German zopf tip — more at top entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tuft

Time Traveler for tuft

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for tuft

Last Updated

13 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tuft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tuft. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tuft


How to pronounce tuft (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tuft

: a small bunch of feathers, hairs, grass, etc., that grow close together


\ ˈtəft How to pronounce tuft (audio) \

Kids Definition of tuft

1 : a small bunch of long flexible things (as hairs or blades of grass) growing close together

Other Words from tuft

tufted adjective


\ ˈtəft How to pronounce tuft (audio) \

Medical Definition of tuft

1 : a small cluster of elongated flexible outgrowths or parts attached or close together at the base and free at the opposite ends especially : a small bunch of hairs on the body
2 : a branching anatomical structure that resembles a tuft

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tuft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tuft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tuft

Spanish Central: Translation of tuft

Nglish: Translation of tuft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tuft for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tuft

What made you want to look up tuft? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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