turf

Definitions

General English

Agriculture

  • noun a surface earth covered with grass, with its roots matted in the soil

Construction

  • The uppermost layer of soil containing roots of propagated grass.

Military

  • noun a layer of grass and the soil surrounding its roots, which can be removed from the ground intact or in sections

Slang

  • noun a street gang or street drug dealer’s territory
  • verb to throw away, rid oneself of (something or someone). A slang form of the colloquial ‘turf out’, used by e.g. medical personnel.

Origin & History of “turf”

Turf is a general Germanic word. It goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *turb-, which also produced German torf ‘peat’, Dutch turf, Swedish torf, and Danish tørv, and was borrowed into the romance languages, giving French tourbe, Italian torba, and Spanish turba. Its ultimate source was the Indo-European base *drbh-.
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