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Etymology 1[edit]

From French tuffe, tuf, from Italian tufo, from Latin tōfus.



tuff (countable and uncountable, plural tuffs)

  1. (petrology) A light porous rock, now especially a rock composed of compacted volcanic ash varying in size from fine sand to coarse gravel.
    • 2004, Richard Fortey, The Earth, Folio Society 2011, p. 9n:
      This is what makes an ignimbrite; the general term for this kind of volcaniclastic rock is ‘tuff’.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


tuff (comparative tuffer, superlative tuffest)

  1. Eye dialect spelling of tough.
    • 1980, Joy Wilt Berry, Ernie Hergenroeder, Tuff Stuff: A Children's Book about Trauma[1], Educational Products Division, Word, Inc., ISBN 9780849981364:
      Tuff Stuff teaches that while life may go smoothly most of the time, ...
    • 2000, Margaret Cavendish, “Preface to the Reader (1655)”, in Sylvia Bowerbank, Sara Mendelson, editor, Paper Bodies[2], ISBN 9781551111735, page 139:
      … yet never to make us so strong as the strongest of Men, whose Sinnews are tuffer, and Bones stronger, and Joints closer, and Flesh firmer, than ours are …
    • 2003, Ronald Carter, The Routledge Guide to Modern English Writing[3] (Language Arts), Routledge, ISBN 9780415286367, page 96:
      It was rave reviewed in the Caribbean Times as 'the ruffest, tuffest and the boo-yacka of all modern gangster novels'.
    • 2006, Paige Hemmis, The Tuff Chix Guide to Easy Home Improvement[4], Penguin, ISBN 9780452287617, page 36:
    • 2010 January 20, Robert J. Elisberg, “CES 2020 -- Ohm on the Range”, in Huffington Post[5], retrieved 2012-09-14:
      Its Tuff-n-Tiny USB flash drive is about the size of a thumbnail. … The company insists that the "tuff" part of the name is well-earned for being waterproof, dustproof and you can drive a car over it.
    • 2011, Kristian Pope, Tuff Stuff Professional Wrestling Field Guide: Legend and Lore[6], Krause Publications, ISBN 9781440228100:
      Tuff Stuff Professional Wrestling


  • Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, tuff