Definition of tussock in English:

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tussock

Pronunciation: /ˈtəsək/

noun

1A small area of grass that is thicker or longer than the grass growing around it.
Example sentences
  • Between the tussocks of grass grew purple heather and tufted bog cotton, which were used in the old days for pillows and mattresses.
  • He hid inside a tussock of oat grass and watched as the fine thatched house rose up beside the water-hole.
  • Larks that live in desert areas will stand in the shade of grass tussocks during the hottest parts of the day.
2 (also tussock moth) A woodland moth whose adults and brightly colored caterpillars both bear tufts of irritant hairs. The caterpillars can be a pest of trees, damaging fruit and stripping leaves.
  • Family Lymantriidae: many genera.

Derivatives

tussocky

Pronunciation: /ˈtəsəkē/
adjective
Example sentences
  • The path leads through open zones of tussocky grasses, silver birches, and woods, honeysuckle swarms up the pines.
  • Allow natural colonization or seed tussocky grasses such as cocksfoot and Yorkshire fog.
  • Swamp foxtail, a coarse tussocky native grass with a seed head similar to buffel grass, is the native host of this insect pest.

Origin

Mid 16th century: perhaps an alteration of dialect tusk 'tuft', of unknown origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tus·sock

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