turf

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turf:

see lawnlawn,
grass turf or greensward cultivated in private yard or public park. A good lawn, or green, has both beauty and usefulness; its maintenance for golf, tennis, baseball, and other sports is a costly and specialized procedure.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Turf

 

the living form of herbaceous, primarily perennial plants, usually grasses and sedges. Their axillary shoots grow within the sheaths covering their leaves and emerge without tearing the sheath. This causes the turf runners to grow close together, forming a thick clump. Turfs are typically found in the steppe (for example, feathergrass and some species of sheep’s fescue) and, to a lesser extent, in meadows (tufted hairgrass) and marshes (sheathing cottongrass).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

turf

The upper layer of earth and vegetable mold in which the roots of grass and other small plants form a thick cover.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

turf

1. the surface layer of fields and pastures, consisting of earth containing a dense growth of grasses with their roots; sod
2. a piece cut from this layer, used to form lawns, verges, etc.
3. 
a. a track, usually of grass or dirt, where horse races are run
b. horse racing as a sport or industry
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005