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turf war

noun (informal)
a dispute between criminals or gangs over the right to operate within a particular area
any dispute in which one party seeks to obtain increased rights or influence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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a dispute over territory claimed by opposing groups or people's 21st Century Lexicon
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Slang definitions & phrases for turf war



  1. The sidewalk; the street (1930s+ Jive talk)
  2. The territory claimed or controlled by a street gang: I tried to imagine my Deacons pacing the turf or talking about me (1953+ Street gang)
  3. A particular specialized concern; thing: Counterterrorism is not their exclusive turf/ I never thought of myself as pretty, that was my sister's turf (1970+)


To transfer a patient to another ward or service in order to evade responsibility, decisions, irritations, etc (1970s+ Medical)

[turf, ''the road,'' in the first sense is found in hobo use by 1899]

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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