tuft

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
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 adjective
tufty adjective

tuft

2 of 2

verb

tufted; tufting; tufts

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
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
The landscape was a steep boulder field with three-foot-tall tufts of mountain grass between the rocks. Mark Jenkins, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Apr. 2024 Beyoncé wore dramatic sleeve styles—puffs, tufts, capes—on her Renaissance World Tour. André Wheeler, The New Yorker, 4 Mar. 2024 Small tears and scratches won’t be as noticeable on rugs with long tufts. Sophia Beams, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Mar. 2024 This was expressed in a variety of ways: embroidery and beading, embellishments such as tufts, and even dimensional materials, where pleats or weaves amplified a flat surface to 3-D. Charlotte Observer, 1 Feb. 2024 Last August, Patel pointed my attention toward a depression worn into the moss, a path that disappeared into a yellowed tuft of sedge. Bathsheba Demuth, The Atlantic, 4 Jan. 2024 The shapes at the top of the painting could be feathers, flower petals, plant fronds or stylized tufts of body hair. Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2024 Egyptian vultures have also been observed wielding twigs to rake up tufts of wool from sheep shearing pens and repurposing the wool as nest insulation. Natalie Angier, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2023 Great horned owls are known for their iconic ear tufts and catlike eyes, Eldermire said. Megan Marples, CNN, 9 Feb. 2024
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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tuft.' 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

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near tuft

Cite this Entry

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

Kids Definition

tuft

1 of 2 noun
1
: a small cluster of long flexible outgrowths (as of hairs, feathers, or blades of grass) that are attached or close together at the base and free at the opposite end
2
: a bunch of soft fluffy threads cut off short and used as ornament
tufted adjective

tuft

2 of 2 verb
1
: to provide or decorate with a tuft
2
: to make (as upholstery) firm by stitching through the stuffing here and there

Medical Definition

tuft

noun
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

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