- a bunch of hairs, feathers, grass, etc. growing closely together or attached at the base
- any similar cluster; specif.,
- a clump of plants or trees
- the fluffy ball forming the end of any of the clusters of threads drawn tightly through a mattress, quilt, etc. to hold the padding in place
- a decorative button to which such a tuft is fastened
Origin of tuftMiddle English (with unhistoric -t) ; from Old French tufe, probably ; from Classical Latin tufa, a kind of helmet crest
- to provide or decorate with a tuft or tufts
- to secure the padding of (a quilt, mattress, etc.) by regularly spaced tufts
- A short cluster of elongated strands, as of yarn, hair, or grass, attached at the base or growing close together.
- A dense clump, especially of trees or bushes.
verbtuft·ed, tuft·ing, tufts
- To furnish or ornament with tufts or a tuft.
- To pass threads through the layers of (a quilt, mattress, or upholstery), securing the thread ends with a knot or button.
- To separate or form into tufts.
- To grow in a tuft.
Origin of tuftMiddle English, probably alteration of Old French tofe, from Late Latin tufa, helmet crest, or of Germanic origin.
- A bunch of feathers, grass or hair, etc., held together at the base.
- A cluster of threads drawn tightly through upholstery, a mattress or a quilt, etc., to secure and strengthen the padding.
- A small clump of trees or bushes.
- (historical) A gold tassel on the cap worn by titled undergraduates at English universities.
- (historical) A person entitled to wear such a tassel.
(third-person singular simple present tufts, present participle tufting, simple past and past participle tufted)
Middle English toft(e), from Middle French tofe, toffe 'tuft', from Late Latin (near Vegezio) tufa 'helmet crest', from Germanic (compare Old English ðūf 'tuft', Old Norse þúfa 'mound', Swedish tuva 'tussock, grassy hillock'), from Proto-Germanic *þūbǭ, *þūbaz; akin to Latin tūber 'hump, swelling', Ancient Greek typhē 'cattail (used to stuff beds)'.