\ ˈtərf How to pronounce turf (audio) \
plural turfs\ ˈtərfs How to pronounce turfs (audio) \ also turves\ ˈtərvz How to pronounce turves (audio) \

Definition of turf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the upper stratum of soil bound by grass and plant roots into a thick mat also : a piece of this
b : an artificial substitute for this (as on a playing field)
2a : territory considered by a gang to be under its control
b : territory sense 2 have to play two of the last three games on hostile turf— Joe Klein in chapter two, the author is on unfamiliar turf also : a sphere of activity or influence people who could hurt him on his own foreign-policy turfWall Street Jour.
3a : a track or course for horse racing
b : the sport or business of horse racing
b : a piece of peat dried for fuel


turfed; turfing; turfs

Definition of turf (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover with turf
2 chiefly British : to eject forcibly : kick usually used with out

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Other Words from turf


turfy \ ˈtər-​fē How to pronounce turfy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of turf in a Sentence

Noun a lawn made by laying turfs Synthetic turf was installed in the playing field instead of grass. playing fields with artificial turfs The team played on home turf.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This time, Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles from its turf at Iraq’s sprawling Ain al-Assad base, about a hundred miles from Baghdad, and at Erbil, in northern Kurdistan. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Iran Attacks U.S. Forces, Then Both Sides Stand Down," 8 Jan. 2020 The city needs to be pushed’: As San Francisco prepares to open 200 Navigation Center beds on the Embarcadero, Supervisor Matt Haney is trying — again — to force his colleagues to build homeless shelters on their own turf. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: PG&E ending the year with more problems than it started with," 17 Dec. 2019 Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry had seen signs that something bigger was going down on his turf. Chris Kenning, courier-journal.com, "‘Right under your nose’: A Mexican cartel turned this rural area into a hidden cocaine hub," 25 Nov. 2019 PayPal revolutionized online shopping with its payments system two decades ago, but lately more tech companies have been encroaching on its turf. Wired, "Why Did PayPal Pay $4 Billion for a Coupon Browser Extension?," 23 Nov. 2019 Azteca removed its hybrid turf and installed natural grass this year, and the field had been untouched since Club América’s last home soccer game Nov. 2. Greg Beacham, Houston Chronicle, "Mahomes, Chiefs hold off Chargers in Mexico City," 18 Nov. 2019 When one sensibility sniffs another on its turf, conflict ensues. John Wenzel, The Know, "Review: “No Safe Spaces” talks itself in circles around free-speech on college campuses," 1 Nov. 2019 Numerous top-flight records came tumbling down on a drizzly Friday night on the south-coast as the Midlands outfit hammered Southampton on their own turf, Ayoze Perez joining Vardy in grabbing a hat-trick against the sorry Saints. SI.com, "Crystal Palace vs Leicester City: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 31 Oct. 2019 The Sun Devils are 22-8 against Utah all-time, although the Utes have won six of 10 on their own turf. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Arizona State football faces toughest test of season at Utah," 18 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Less than 20% of the party's candidates were victorious — 21 out of 181 -- and many leading figures, including vice-chairman Holden Chow, were turfed out of their seats. James Griffiths, CNN, "Hong Kongers show not only the depths of their discontent, but also their power," 25 Nov. 2019 The first coaching change of the season was Monday when Washington turfed Jay Gruden and promoted offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Week 6 NFL Picks: Time for Dolphins to get first victory," 12 Oct. 2019 From the heart of the city's financial district, to outlying islands and working-class estates in Kowloon, pro-democracy and anti-government candidates turfed out established pro-Beijing councilors. James Griffiths, CNN, "Hong Kongers show not only the depths of their discontent, but also their power," 25 Nov. 2019 In a span of 40 years now, the Leafs have turfed their coach eight times with the season in progress. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 23 Nov. 2019 As for Elway being turfed after the year, anything is possible. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Mailbag: Does John Elway really think Drew Lock is being helped by not playing?," 5 Nov. 2019 By turfing the British out, Gálvez denied them a port in the Gulf of Mexico. John Kelly, Washington Post, "The Spaniard who helped win the Revolutionary War has a new statue in D.C.," 17 July 2019 Bayern are in somewhat of a transitional period after losing club legends Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Rafinha, as well as turfing out Mats Hummels in a bid to liven up their ageing squad. SI.com, "Bayern Munich: Schalke May Have Been Dispatched But Die Roten Must Improve to Retain Bundesliga," 25 Aug. 2019 Hours into office, Johnson turfed Hunt out of the job and gave it to his hardline Brexiteer colleague, Dominic Raab. Nic Robertson, CNN, "Boris Johnson stakes future on Donald Trump after Brexit. The gamble may break Britain," 24 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'turf.' 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 turf


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for turf


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German zurba turf, Sanskrit darbha tuft of grass

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Time Traveler for turf

Time Traveler

The first known use of turf was before the 12th century

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Statistics for turf

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Turf.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turf. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for turf


How to pronounce turf (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of turf

: the upper layer of ground that is made up of grass and plant roots
British : a square piece of turf cut out of the ground that is used for making lawns
: a material that looks like grass and that is used especially to cover athletic fields


\ ˈtərf How to pronounce turf (audio) \

Kids Definition of turf

1 : the upper layer of soil bound into a thick mat by roots of grass and other plants
2 : land covered with grass
3 : an area that is or is felt to be under an individual's control Fluffy won't allow any other dogs on his turf.

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More from Merriam-Webster on turf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turf

Spanish Central: Translation of turf

Nglish: Translation of turf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of turf for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about turf

Comments on turf

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


dull or mediocre

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