Denotation vs. Connotation


[tuhft] /tʌft/
a bunch or cluster of small, usually soft and flexible parts, as feathers or hairs, attached or fixed closely together at the base and loose at the upper ends.
a cluster of short, fluffy threads, used to decorate cloth, as for a bedspread, robe, bath mat, or window curtain.
a cluster of cut threads, used as a decorative finish attached to the tying or holding threads of mattresses, quilts, upholstery, etc.
a covered or finished button designed for similar use.
a cluster of short-stalked flowers, leaves, etc., growing from a common point.
a small clump of bushes, trees, etc.
a gold tassel on the cap formerly worn at English universities by titled undergraduates.
a titled undergraduateat an English university.
verb (used with object)
to furnish or decorate with a tuft or tufts.
to arrange in a tuft or tufts.
Upholstery. to draw together (a cushion or the like) by passing a thread through at regular intervals, the depressions thus produced being usually ornamented with tufts or buttons.
verb (used without object)
to form into or grow in a tuft or tufts.
Origin of tuft
1350-1400; Middle English, variant of toft(e) < Middle French tofe, toffe < ?; E parasitic t as in graft1
Related forms
tufter, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tuft
Historical Examples
  • Horace, my son, do you really feel equal to the task of taking this tuft of feathers to New York?

    Little Folks Astray Sophia May (Rebecca Sophia Clarke)
  • Upon his brow he placed a tuft of feathers of the same shining tints.

    The Indian Fairy Book Cornelius Mathews
  • To the end of a hollow reed she has fastened a tuft of grass.

    Tales of South Africa H.A. Bryden
  • I wiped it with a tuft of bracken, and I laughed with something of a bitterness.

    Gilian The Dreamer Neil Munro
  • Nest—On the ground, consisting of a bed of dead leaves, under a bush or tuft of grass or weeds.

  • A tuft of hair protruded from a hole in the crown of his hat.

    Prairie Flowers James B. Hendryx
  • In the beauty of poems are henceforth the tuft and final applause of science.

  • She was fixing a tuft of flowers in his cap, singing softly as she did so.

    Sir Ludar Talbot Baines Reed
  • Nest built in a tuft of grass; made of fine roots and grass, lined with feathers.

    The Bird Book Chester A. Reed
  • He had but fifty yards to go, and started to glide stealthily from tuft to tuft.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Douglas English
British Dictionary definitions for tuft


a bunch of feathers, grass, hair, etc, held together at the base
a cluster of threads drawn tightly through upholstery, a mattress, a quilt, etc, to secure and strengthen the padding
a small clump of trees or bushes
(formerly) a gold tassel on the cap worn by titled undergraduates at English universities
a person entitled to wear such a tassel
(transitive) to provide or decorate with a tuft or tufts
to form or be formed into tufts
to secure and strengthen (a mattress, quilt, etc) with tufts
Derived Forms
tufter, noun
tufty, adjective
Word Origin
C14: perhaps from Old French tufe, of Germanic origin; compare top1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tuft

late 14c., perhaps from Old French touffe "tuft of hair," either from Late Latin tufa "a kind of crest on a helmet" (also found in Late Greek toupha), or from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German zopf, Old Norse toppr "tuft, summit;" see top (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for tuft


transuterine fallopian transfer
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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