\ 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
2 : clump, cluster
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

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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


A tuft of hair stuck out from under his hat.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On Canada’s Ellesmere Island, Teardrop Glacier extended its frozen tongue across the landscape and swallowed a small tuft of moss. Daniel Ackerman, Anchorage Daily News, "Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost," 8 July 2019 On Canada’s Ellesmere Island, Teardrop Glacier extended its frozen tongue across the landscape and swallowed a small tuft of moss. Daniel Ackerman, BostonGlobe.com, "Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost," 7 July 2019 Cebolinha has a small tuft of hair on his head, which is presumably where the comparisons come from, looking a bit like the bottom of an onion. SI.com, "Everton: 5 Things to Know About Brazil's Copa America Star & Man City Transfer Target," 26 June 2019 Empty miles unfold along the highway, where tufts of tumbleweed gust by. Eric Ogden, Marie Claire, "The Invisible Victims," 10 June 2019 The desolate landscape offers little beyond the craggy hills, rocks and tufts of brittle flora that look as though a month of rain could never revive them. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: In Death Valley’s ‘Star Wars Canyon,’ fighter jet aficionados have a good feeling," 7 May 2019 In April, Nike posted a photo on Instagram of model and musician Annahstasia Enuke with the tiniest tuft of armpit hair. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "Summer is sexist: Women have to sweat 'bikini bodies,' hair removal, camp and crime," 7 June 2019 Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd, sent a messenger to request a lock of hair, and a tuft was clipped from the head for her. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Complete History of the Autopsy," 26 Dec. 2018 Knowing that super soft or plush carpets are often harder to clean because of dense tufts, the Miele Complete C3 comes with a brush roll that can flip between five different sizes to make plowing through plush easier. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "These Top 5 Canister Vacuums Are Pros at Cleaning Tough-to-Reach Places," 14 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The two dining rooms are softly lit and soundproofed, thanks to carpet on the floor, linens on the tables and tufted fabric on the walls. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Tom Sietsema’s 7 favorite places to eat (and drink) right now — plus one to avoid," 24 June 2019 Here, the northern fur seals number more than half a million strong, and avian species include horned and tufted puffins, red-legged kittiwakes, and crested auklets. National Geographic, "Fun Facts About the Bering and Chukchi Seas," 26 Mar. 2019 Bench at end of bed, Courtland; tufted armchair, Madison—Hickory Chair (T); hickorychair.com. House Beautiful, "October 2014 Issue Product Guide," 16 Sep. 2014 Even a neutral carpet, like this soft hand-tufted option, can instantly pull a room together. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "18 Pieces from Walmart’s New MoDRN Collection That’ll Upgrade Every Room in Your Home," 20 May 2019 With beautiful details, like a tufted back and retro rolling losange arms, the furnishing looks good in any room. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "This Chair Is Like A Giant Fuzzy Sweater You Can Sit On," 2 Nov. 2018 Starting at $1,299 (twin) to $2,199 (California King), its design features layers of New Zealand wool, organic cotton, and steel coils, all tufted together for an ergonomic sleep focused on relieving pressure points on the body. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "7 New Online Mattress Companies That Want To Sweeten Your Dreams," 15 Feb. 2019 The seat cushion on the Walmart sofa is also tufted, unlike the West Elm couch. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Bet You Can't Tell Which Sofa Costs $1,200—And Which Is $350," 8 Oct. 2018 The bench, like the bed and the dressers, is made from cerused oak with a button-tufted, waxed leather top. Adrienne Gaffney, WSJ, "Neoclassical Chinoiserie in one of Jersey City’s Priciest Bedrooms," 3 Jan. 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.

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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

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Statistics for tuft

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tuft

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

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More Definitions for tuft



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tuft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tuft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tuft

Spanish Central: Translation of tuft

Nglish: Translation of tuft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tuft for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tuft

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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