9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[turf] /tɜrf/
noun, plural turfs (especially British) turves.
a layer of matted earth formed by grass and plant roots.
peat, especially as material for fuel.
a block or piece of peat dug for fuel.
  1. the neighborhood over which a street gang asserts its authority.
  2. a familiar area, as of residence or expertise:
    Denver is her turf. When you talk literature you're getting into my turf.
Chiefly British. a piece cut or torn from the surface of grassland; sod.
the turf.
  1. the track over which horse races are run.
  2. the practice or sport of racing horses.
verb (used with object)
to cover with turf or sod.
British Slang. to remove from a desirable office or position; expel; kick out:
He was turfed from leadership of the group.
Origin of turf
before 900; 1930-35 for def 5; Middle English, Old English, cognate with Dutch turf, German Torf (< LG), Old Norse torf, akin to Sanskrit darbha tuft of grass. See turbary
Related forms
turfless, adjective
turflike, adjective
returf, verb (used with object)
unturfed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for turf
  • College isn't located in the administration building, and it's not a turf thing.
  • On this turf males fight for their mates, battling with sharp teeth and powerful flippers.
  • One idea is that they've escaped their enemies, for example, the parasites that keep them in check on their home turf.
  • For chemical control, use a selective postemergence herbicide labeled for dandelions in turf.
  • In the ensuing battles for turf and tools, staffers had to use any advantage at their disposal.
  • While he was in the end zone, staff members noticed him pouring something onto the turf.
  • There's no chance to feel the wind in your hair or the turf beneath your feet.
  • They mark the area with urine, roar menacingly to warn intruders, and chase off animals that encroach on their turf.
  • Catlin, a largely self-taught painter, was the first major white artist to portray the prairie tribes on their own turf.
  • turf varieties are selected for density and greener color.
British Dictionary definitions for turf


noun (pl) turfs, turves (tɜːvz)
the surface layer of fields and pastures, consisting of earth containing a dense growth of grasses with their roots; sod
a piece cut from this layer, used to form lawns, verges, etc
the turf
  1. a track, usually of grass or dirt, where horse races are run
  2. horse racing as a sport or industry
(US, slang) the territory or area of activity over which a person or group claims exclusive rights
an area of knowledge or influence: he's on home turf when it comes to music
another term for peat1
(informal) go with the turf, to be an unavoidable part of a particular situation or process
(transitive) to cover with pieces of turf
Word Origin
Old English; related to Old Norse torfa, Old High German zurba, Sanskrit darbha tuft of grass
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 turf

Old English turf, tyrf "slab of soil and grass," also "surface of grassland," from Proto-Germanic *turb- (cf. Old Norse torf, Danish tørv, Old Frisian turf, Old High German zurba, German Torf), from PIE root *drbh- (cf. Sanskrit darbhah "tuft of grass").

French tourbe "turf" is a Germanic loan-word. The Old English plural was identical with the singluar, but in Middle English turves sometimes was used. Slang meaning "territory claimed by a gang" is attested from 1953 in Brooklyn, N.Y.; earlier it had a jive talk sense of "the street, the sidewalk" (1930s), which is attested in hobo use from 1899, and before that "the work and venue of a prostitute" (1860). Turf war is recorded from 1962.


early 15c., "to cover (ground) with turf," from turf (n.). Related: Turfed; turfing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for turf

turd face

noun phrase

A thoroughly despised person; creep; turd

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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