Definitions

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

  • noun A short cluster of elongated strands, as of yarn, hair, or grass, attached at the base or growing close together.
  • noun A dense clump, especially of trees or bushes.
  • intransitive verb To furnish or ornament with tufts or a tuft.
  • intransitive verb To pass threads through the layers of (a quilt, mattress, or upholstery), securing the thread ends with a knot or button.
  • intransitive verb To separate or form into tufts.
  • intransitive verb To grow in a tuft.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A green knoll. See toft.
  • noun A grove; a plantation; a clump.
  • To separate or combine into tufts.
  • To affix a tuft to: cover or stud with tufts, or as if with tufts.
  • In upholstery, to draw together (a cushion or an upholstered covering) by passing a thread through it at regular intervals, the depressions thus produced being usually covered with tufts or buttons.
  • To grow in tufts; form a tuft or tufts.
  • noun A bunch of soft and flexible things fixed at the base with the upper part loose, especially when the whole is small: as, a tuft of feathers.
  • noun A turban.
  • noun A crest.
  • noun An imperial.
  • noun In anat, a rete; a glomerulus. See cut under Malpighian.
  • noun In botany, a fascicle of flowers on their several partial peduncles; a cluster of radical leaves; a clump or tussock of stems from a common root, as in many grasses and sedges; hence, any analogous bundle.
  • noun An undergraduate who bears a title: so called from the tuft worn on his cap to indicate his rank.
  • To beat up (a thicket or covert) in stag-hunting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To grow in, or form, a tuft or tufts.
  • noun A collection of small, flexible, or soft things in a knot or bunch; a waving or bending and spreading cluster.
  • noun A cluster; a clump.
  • noun Cant, Eng. A nobleman, or person of quality, especially in the English universities; -- so called from the tuft, or gold tassel, on the cap worn by them.
  • transitive verb To separate into tufts.
  • transitive verb To adorn with tufts or with a tuft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A bunch of feathers, grass or hair, etc., held together at the base.
  • noun A cluster of threads drawn tightly through upholstery, a mattress or a quilt, etc., to secure and strengthen the padding.
  • noun A small clump of trees or bushes.
  • noun historical A gold tassel on the cap worn by titled undergraduates at English universities.
  • noun A person entitled to wear such a tassel.
  • verb transitive To provide or decorate with a tuft or tufts.
  • verb transitive To form into tufts.
  • verb transitive To secure and strengthen (a mattress, quilt, etc.) with tufts.
  • verb intransitive To be formed into tufts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a bunch of feathers or hair
  • noun a bunch of hair or feathers or growing grass

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, probably alteration of Old French tofe, from Late Latin tufa, helmet crest, or of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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 *þūƀōn, þūƀaz; akin to Latin tūber 'hump, swelling', Ancient Greek typhē 'cattail (used to stuff beds)'.

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