Definition of tuft hunter in English:

tuft hunter


  • A sycophantic or obsequious person.

    • ‘There are, it is true, toadies and tuft hunters among boys as among men.’
    • ‘Indeed, he had been reproached by his more bohemian brothers of the brush for being something of a tuft hunter - most unjustly.’
    • ‘It branded him 'profligate', 'underbred', a 'modern tuft hunter', and 'as completely a Plebeian in his mind as he is in his rank and station in society'.’


Mid 18th century: originally used with reference to the ‘tufts’ or gold tassels formerly worn by titled Oxbridge undergraduates.