Definition of turf in English:


Syllabification: turf
Pronunciation: /tərf

noun (plural turfs or turves /tərvz/)

1Grass and the surface layer of earth held together by its roots: they walked across the springy turf
More example sentences
  • Fall is the season to plant trees, turf grasses and spring-blooming flower bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses.
  • She opened her eyes just in time to impact roughly among a sward of yellow-green grass into soft turf.
  • Unlike grass, the durable turf can be used continuously, providing optimal playing and practice conditions at all times.
1.1British A piece of grass and the surface layer of earth underneath it, cut from the ground.
1.2Peat used for fuel.
More example sentences
  • The profit of turbary is the right to cut turf or peat, usually in order to burn it.
  • In the surrounding fields, peat or turf is still cut, including by our guide, for fuel.
  • The island had no trees and winter fuel was mainly turf, cut from a bog on the mainland.
2 (the turf) Horse racing or racecourses generally: he spent his money gambling on the turf
More example sentences
  • In his previous effort, Funfair won the Troy Stakes on August 20 at Saratoga Race Course over yielding turf.
  • The new track planned for Great Leighs is another nail in the coffin for turf horseracing in this country.
  • Once the track is finished, Kempton will no longer offer flat racing on the turf, which will be reserved for steeplechase events.
3 informal An area regarded as someone’s personal territory; one’s home ground: the team will play Canada on their home turf this summer
More example sentences
  • There's a powerful sense of entropy, particularly when you see nature struggling to reclaim an artificial area as its turf.
  • Scholars engaged in this battle argue that they are not only protecting their academic turf, but preserving the life of their discipline.
  • Each knew the other's gifts, each took care not to trespass on the other person's turf.
territory, domain, province, preserve, sphere of influence;
stomping ground, stamping ground;
3.1A person’s sphere of influence or activity: we’re in similar businesses but we cover different turf
More example sentences
  • I'm not trying to hold on to the turf of my committee as chairman of the armed services.


Back to top  
1 [with object] informal , chiefly British Force (someone) to leave somewhere: they were turfed off the bus
More example sentences
  • More than 30 people were turfed out of Norfolk House, Brookmill Road, Deptford, following an early morning raid.
  • It seems to mean that these people are simply turfed out into the streets.
  • PJ was the first to be ‘evicted’ for nibbling Helen's ears, Craig was turfed out for gnawing the cage, and Penny was thrown out for pinching food rations.
2 [with object] (often as adjective turfed) Cover (a patch of ground) with turf: a turfed lawn
More example sentences
  • The ground will then be turfed, meaning the children will finally be able to enjoy games on their brand new school field.
  • Small, lateral roots that replace the rotted ones give the root system a matter or turfed appearance.
  • The roofs were thatched, turfed or covered in wood shingles, depending on available local resources.


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch turf and German Torf, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit darbha 'tuft of grass'.

Definition of turf in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day rebuff
Pronunciation: rɪˈbʌf
reject (someone or something) in an abrupt manner…