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

  • noun A surface layer of earth containing a dense growth of grass and its matted roots; sod.
  • noun An artificial substitute for such a grassy layer, as on a playing field.
  • noun A piece cut from a layer of earth or sod.
  • noun A piece of peat that is burned for use as fuel.
  • noun The range of the authority or influence of a person, group, or thing; a bailiwick: synonym: field.
  • noun A geographical area; a territory.
  • noun The area claimed by a gang, as of youths, as its personal territory.
  • noun A racetrack.
  • noun The sport or business of racing horses.
  • transitive verb To spread with turf.
  • transitive verb Chiefly British Slang To throw out, as from a place or position; eject.
  • transitive verb Slang To kill.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The turn of a cap, hood, or sleeve.
  • To cover with turf or sod: as, to turf a bank or border.
  • noun The surface or sward of grass-land, consisting of earth or mold filled with the roots of grass and other small plants, so as to adhere and form a kind of mat; earth covered with grass.
  • noun A piece of such earth or mold dug or torn from the ground; a sod.
  • noun In Ireland, same as peat. See peat.

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

  • noun That upper stratum of earth and vegetable mold which is filled with the roots of grass and other small plants, so as to adhere and form a kind of mat; sward; sod.
  • noun Peat, especially when prepared for fuel. See Peat.
  • noun Race course; horse racing; -- preceded by the.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small European ant (Formica flava) which makes small ant-hills on heaths and commons.
  • noun a drain made with turf or peat.
  • noun a hedge or fence formed with turf and plants of different kinds.
  • noun a house or shed formed of turf, common in the northern parts of Europe.
  • noun a tract of turfy, mossy, or boggy land.
  • noun a spade for cutting and digging turf, longer and narrower than the common spade.
  • transitive verb To cover with turf or sod.

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

  • noun a layer of earth covered with grass; sod
  • noun a piece of such a layer cut from the soil and used to make a lawn
  • noun Ireland a sod of peat used as fuel.
  • noun slang the territory claimed by a person, gang, etc. as their own
  • noun a racetrack; or the sport of racing horses
  • verb to create a lawn by laying turfs
  • verb Ultimate Frisbee To throw a frisbee well short of its intended target, usually causing it to hit the ground within 10 yards of its release.
  • verb business To fire from a job or dismiss from a task.
  • verb business To cancel a project or product.

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

  • verb cover (the ground) with a surface layer of grass or grass roots
  • noun range of jurisdiction or influence
  • noun surface layer of ground containing a mat of grass and grass roots
  • noun the territory claimed by a juvenile gang as its own


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

[Middle English, from Old English.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English turf, torf, from Old English turf ("turf, sod, soil, piece of grass covered earth, greensward"), from Proto-Germanic *turbaz (“turf, lawn”), from Proto-Indo-European *dorbh- (“tuft, grass”). Cognate with Dutch turf ("turf"), Low German torf ("turf"), German dialectal Turbe ("turf"), German Torf ("peat, turf"), Swedish torf ("turf"), Icelandic torf ("turf"), Sanskrit  (darbha, "a kind of grass").


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  • "CATHLEEN: Give me the ladder, and I'll put them up in the turf-loft, the way she won't know of them at all, and maybe when the tide turns she'll be going down to see would he be floating from the east.

    (They put the ladder against the gable of the chimney; Cathleen goes up a few steps and hides the bundle in the turf-loft. Maurya comes from the inner room.)

    MAURYA (Looking up at Cathleen and speaking querulously.): Isn't it turf enough you have for this day and evening?

    CATHLEEN: There's a cake baking at the fire for a short space. (Throwing down the turf) and Bartley will want it when the tide turns if he goes to Connemara.

    (Nora picks up the turf and puts it round the pot-oven.)"

    - J. M. Synge, 'Riders to the Sea'.

    December 13, 2008

  • "Hof in Öræfi has been an ecclesiastical site for almost 700 years and is first mentioned in a cartulary from 1343. Hofskirkja Church was dedicated to Saint Clement. The core of the current church at Hof was built in 1884 and was the last turf church built in the old Icelandic architectural style. Its walls are assembled of rocks and its roof made of stone slabs, covered in turf. The reredos (an altarpiece, or a screen or decoration behind the altar in a church) in Hofskirkja Church was painted by the artist Ólafur Túbals. Hofskirkja Church is one of six churches, in Iceland still standing which are preserved as historical monuments. It is recorded that Páll Pálsson, a carpenter, built the church, but Þorsteinn Gissurarson, a blacksmith from Hof forged the building hardware, the lock, and hinges. The church is maintained by the National Museum but also serves as a parish church."

    May 12, 2016