n. pl. turfs also turves (tûrvz)
a. A surface layer of earth containing a dense growth of grass and its matted roots; sod.
b. An artificial substitute for such a grassy layer, as on a playing field.
2. A piece cut from a layer of earth or sod.
3. A piece of peat that is burned for use as fuel.
a. The range of the authority or influence of a person, group, or thing; a bailiwick: "a bureaucracy ... concerned with turf, promotions, the budget, and protecting the retirement system" (Harper's). See Synonyms at field.
b. A geographical area; a territory.
c. The area claimed by a gang, as of youths, as its personal territory.
a. A racetrack.
b. The sport or business of racing horses.
tr.v. turfed, turf·ing, turfs
1. To spread with turf: turfed the front yard.
2. Chiefly British Slang To throw out, as from a place or position; eject: "when Adam and Eve got turfed out of Eden" (Malachy McCourt).
3. Slang To kill: "These guys can't ... make sure nobody gets turfed" (Scott Turow).
[Middle English, from Old English.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.