\ 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 tuft (audio) \ adjective
tufty \ ˈtəf-​tē How to pronounce tuft (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 One square, which Garfield made, depicts Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, on a television screen with glasses and a tuft of fuzzy dark hair. BostonGlobe.com, 1 June 2021 It’s a tableau of visceral horror that, through Ma’s lens, becomes an object of elemental contemplation: one life from another life, a tuft of moss, earth to earth. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 4 May 2021 Their uniformity was disrupted by the smallest details: a tuft of a woman’s long black hair spilling out of the top of her sheets, a right foot. New York Times, 4 Mar. 2021 Pry back his underwear band and there’s a tuft of fuzzy hair in his butt crack. Deborah Vankin Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2020 Zuck warned me to aim carefully through my scope and pick a tuft of hair on the deer’s side to shoot at. Oliver Staley, Quartz, 23 Oct. 2020 Inspired to include evidence of the garden’s growth alongside his exhibition, Wine added a tuft of a weed to one of his finished pieces. Michaela Trimble, New York Times, 24 Sep. 2020 Last year, a tuft of hair from George Washington attached to an autographed note signed by former Secretary of State James A. Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton's third son, was sold at auction. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, 3 Sep. 2020 McFee looked down at the dusty ground and touched the toe of his boot to a tuft of golden-brown grass, which was shriveled to a crisp. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, 23 Aug. 2020 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, 27 May 2020 The mattresses are hand-tufted and made in California. Mariana Zapata, NBC News, 8 May 2020 Seriously, how many sofas have diamond-tufted shearling? Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2020 Other animals that experienced mass die-offs include sea lions, tufted puffins, and baleen whales. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 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, 29 Jan. 2020 One of these was tufted, like a tiny feather duster. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, 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, 1 Nov. 2019 And the sideboard table is metal, but tufted for interest. Nikhita Mahtani, House Beautiful, 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.

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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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Time Traveler for tuft

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tuft

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tuft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tuft. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on tuft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tuft

Nglish: Translation of tuft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tuft for Arabic Speakers


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