\ 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

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 Use vanilla frosting to add tufts of hair and attach holly sprinkles between the antlers. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Snowy Cookie Truffles," 30 Nov. 2018 With a tuft of chin beard, and the dark wardrobe of a 1990s hacker or a fan at a Rush concert, Mr. Nilsson has lived in Tokyo on and off for about a decade. Bradley Hope, WSJ, "The Man Who Solved Bitcoin’s Most Notorious Heist," 10 Aug. 2018 The hardworking Nassella tenuissima’s upright green tufts turn to flaxen cascades perfect for softening up stone paths. Amy Merrick, WSJ, "Fall’s Best Blade Plans," 5 Oct. 2018 Waves crash on the sand below us, and the setting sun casts a broad sweep of light above the silvery Pacific, where tufts of fog hover on the horizon. Jeanne Cooper, SFChronicle.com, "Where to watch the sunset with a cocktail around Half Moon Bay," 11 July 2018 These tufts come from individual white cat hairs, glued into distinct seeds, then arranged together into a globe. Michael Tortorello, New York Times, "A Lifelike Version of Nature, but Not to Scale," 8 May 2018 Butterfly Bush Doesn't Really Benefit Butterflies There's no denying that butterfly bush's long, narrow tufts of flowers are beautiful. Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "3 Reasons To Never Plant Butterfly Bush Again," 27 Feb. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Indeed, not everyone would pair a raw concrete wall with velvet tufted upholstery. Ian Phillips, WSJ, "A Dull New Apartment Gets an Infusion of Personality," 8 Nov. 2018 Most noticeably, Walmart's Margo chair has a curve along the back that Anthropologie's Tulip chair does not — and the channel tufting on the Margo chair is closer together with narrower panels. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This $500 Walmart Chair Is Almost A Perfect Dupe For This $1600 Anthropologie Chair," 8 Aug. 2018 Be sure to have your binoculars handy to zoom in on the red tufted beauties. Tiffany Thornton, USA TODAY, "Geodesic domes bring nature’s beauty indoors," 21 June 2018 The digs are cozily romantic, from the barrel room’s chandeliers to the speakeasy-esque tasting room’s floral wallpaper and tufted banquette. BostonGlobe.com, "30 great dates in Boston and beyond," 22 Mar. 2018 Yet the hand-tufted, looped pile makes for a soft, plush feeling underfoot. Kim Cook, The Seattle Times, "How to bring indoor style to your outdoor entertaining," 26 June 2018

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

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

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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