Middle English toft(e), from Middle French tofe, toffe 'tuft', from Late Latin (near Vegezio) tufa 'helmet crest', from Germanic (compare Old English ðūf 'tuft', Old Norse þúfa 'mound', Swedish tuva 'tussock, grassy hillock'), from Proto-Germanic *þūƀōn, þūƀaz; akin to Latin tūber 'hump, swelling', Ancient Greek typhē 'cattail (used to stuff beds)'.
tuft (plural tufts)
- A bunch of feathers, grass or hair, etc., held together at the base.
- A cluster of threads drawn tightly through upholstery, a mattress or a quilt, etc., to secure and strengthen the padding.
- A small clump of trees or bushes.
- (historical) 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.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Thomson to this entry?)
- (transitive) To form into tufts.
- (transitive) To secure and strengthen (a mattress, quilt, etc.) with tufts.
- (intransitive) To be formed into tufts.