from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • noun A place where peat can be dug; a peat bog.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • noun In law, a right of digging turf on another man's land.
  • noun A peat-bog, peat-moor, or peat-swamp; any locality where peat occurs in considerable quantity.


  • We had then to pay a special rate for cutting turf, called turbary, in addition to our rent.

    The Letters of "Norah" on Her Tour Through Ireland

  • It is quite easy to understand that a tenant who has been thirty years on a little holding thinks himself entitled to great lenity, especially if his rent has been raised during that period, and, as this man asserts, his "turbary" rights restricted, and every kind of privilege reduced.

    Disturbed Ireland Being the Letters Written During the Winter of 1880-81.

  • The vast quantity of this unworked fuel would be sufficient to warm the whole population of Iceland for a century; this vast turbary measured in certain ravines had in many places a depth of seventy feet, and presented layers of carbonized remains of vegetation alternating with thinner layers of tufaceous pumice.

    Journey to the Interior of the Earth

  • The right of turbary, which nearly every tenancy possesses, is the one thing which has kept this population from starvation, and in the case of seaside tenancies a further gain accrues from the use made of seaweed as manure, which, owing to the absence of stall-feeding, is only to be obtained in this way.

    Ireland and the Home Rule Movement


The word 'turbary' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a place for digging peat'.