1. A short cluster of elongated strands, as of yarn, hair, or grass, attached at the base or growing close together.
2. A dense clump, especially of trees or bushes.
v. tuft·ed, tuft·ing, tufts
1. To furnish or ornament with tufts or a tuft.
2. To pass threads through the layers of (a quilt, mattress, or upholstery), securing the thread ends with a knot or button.
1. To separate or form into tufts.
2. To grow in a tuft.
[Middle English, probably alteration of Old French tofe, from Late Latin tufa, helmet crest, or of Germanic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.