Definition of tuft in English:



  • 1A bunch or collection of threads, grass, hair, etc., held or growing together at the base.

    ‘scrubby tufts of grass’
    • ‘He was handsome and burly in a way, bald but with white tufts of hair rimming his skull.’
    • ‘Hiding places can be found in between rocks, in tufts of grass or on the branches of low-lying trees or plants.’
    • ‘The fluted trunk is sprouting tufts of grass and although still covered in bark, the sapwood underneath is mush.’
    • ‘There were different colors of dirt and pebble scattered in between tufts of grass.’
    • ‘Small tufts of tall grass were scattered throughout the flat plain, blades waving slightly in the minuscule breeze.’
    • ‘After eight years of restorative grazing, the streambeds are bursting with emerald tufts of grass, and the water runs clear.’
    • ‘He blew out a breath of frustration, and brushed aside the tufts of blonde hair that stuck out at odd angles from under the brim of his helmet.’
    • ‘Around them all was silent on the approach to the rear of the station where only weeds and tufts of grass grew.’
    • ‘The horse was moving at a steady gallop, hooves kicking up tufts of dirt and grass.’
    • ‘The Cotton grass has tiny flowers with tufts of white silky hairs at the top of a stalk.’
    • ‘He had fluffy tufts of black hair and an infectious smile.’
    • ‘The child's skin was a dusky brown, and tufts of darker hair were just beginning to grow.’
    • ‘Jake collapsed into a heap in the grass under the willow and started bawling, grabbing a few tufts of crinkly brown grass and tearing them out by the roots.’
    • ‘She looked down at the tufts of grass peeking through the wooden slats.’
    • ‘He picked at the tufts of grass at his shoes, and mumbled, ‘Well, all the same, I prefer sitting here with you.’’
    • ‘At fifty-nine, he was mostly bald, though a few white tufts of hair grew right behind his ears.’
    • ‘His short tufts of brown hair were beginning to show signs of grey, and his forehead one or two wrinkles, but his eyes were still alive with determination as he puffed his pipe.’
    • ‘Most backgrounds are also well defined, with very close attention paid to detail on tufts of grass, trees, and rocks.’
    • ‘They had clambered over a large tract of huge sand dunes littered with tufts of hardy grass, and scattered clumps of cacti, but the sand soon gave way to mountain slopes.’
    • ‘At present it looks untidy with small tufts of grey grass here and there.’
    clump, bunch, knot, cluster, tussock, tuffet
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Anatomy Zoology A bunch of small blood vessels, respiratory tentacles, or other small anatomical structures.
      • ‘Polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltrates were present in the glomerular tufts, and many glomeruli displayed segmental necrosis.’
      • ‘A 19-year-old, healthy man visited a plastic surgeon because of a cutaneous nodule on the distal tuft of his left index finger.’
      • ‘The glomerular tufts were shrunken or necrotic and renal medullary rays were congested.’
      • ‘Some of the larger dilated channels exhibit abortive fibrous tufts, which are slender and poorly cellular.’
      • ‘Cyst walls showed epithelial tufts or papillary proliferations with delicate fibrovascular cores.’


  • 1Provide with a tuft or tufts.

    ‘the fringe can be tasselled or tufted’
    • ‘He'd been dressed in an Adidas t-shirt and traditional woven vest, and carrying a spear tufted with dyed hair.’
    • ‘The most common means of putting the fibers together is tufting.’
    • ‘The magistrates heard that the company manufactured tufted and Axminster carpets and handled 365 tonnes of packaging waste last year.’
    • ‘Choose a small to medium sized toothbrush, with soft, multi tufted, nylon bristles.’
    • ‘He used the now common tufted layout and end-rounded bristles to help create a brush that was still tough on teeth but gentler to gums.’
    • ‘Reconstructing the shoes caused them to pay still more attention to the way they were put together, to the pattern of the thunderbird in the webbing and to the wool tufting around the rims.’
    • ‘Today 95 percent of the carpets sold are tufted, not woven, but they are still known as broadloom.’
    • ‘The new products include an extended Naturally Herdwick brand, a new Simply Herdwick carpet and another tufted Herdwick carpet that has yet to be named.’
    • ‘Well-known for its patterned Axminster carpets, the company's new range of plain coloured woven and tufted carpets gained an ‘outstanding reaction’ from the trade, according to a spokesman.’
    • ‘Despite the obvious problems, the company has been preparing for growth and total employee numbers increased by 26 to 794 last year, mainly at the spinning and tufting factories.’
    • ‘There was paper-making, print making, moose hair tufted jewellery, traditional beading, sketching, carving.’
    • ‘The managing director said the radical restructuring plan was necessary to protect and secure the long-term viability of the company which manufactures carpet tufting and weaving machinery.’
    • ‘Each tufted piece is made on an upright frame, using a compressor powered air gun, which shoots the yarn into a canvas backing fabric and creates a heavy, evenly piled rug.’
    • ‘After establishing his home town as an international leader in carpet tufting machinery, he hit on the idea for his ‘wonder net’ after watching potatoes being mashed.’
  • 2Needlework
    Strengthen (upholstery) by passing a cluster of threads through the material, so making depressions at regular intervals.

    • ‘This cylindrical, tufted pillow would fit in perfectly with a formal living room with heavy drapes, deep sofas, and perhaps a Bichon Frise curled up on the ottoman.’
    • ‘Some small areas the size of a dime can be tufted in with new yarns.’
    • ‘Furniture makers noticed that tufted upholstery furthered the chair owner's sense of luxury.’
    • ‘To evoke the enfilade, two long galleries were divided into rows of rooms, the doors between them fixed open, their interiors cosseted by paneled wainscoting, velvet walls and tufted furniture.’
    • ‘A primary backing holds stitches in place during tufting.’


Late Middle English: probably from Old French tofe, of unknown origin. The final -t is typical of phonetic confusion between -f and -ft at the end of words; compare with graft.