tuft

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tuft

1. a small clump of trees or bushes
2. (formerly) a gold tassel on the cap worn by titled undergraduates at English universities

tuft

[təft]
(geology)
References in classic literature ?
Once I beheld him perched eighty feet from the ground, in the tuft of a cocoanut tree, smoking; and often I saw him standing up to the waist in water, engaged in plucking out the stray hairs of his beard, using a piece of muscle-shell for tweezers.
It was the great tuft of flowers,--weeds, you would have called them, only a week ago,--the tuft of crimson-spotted flowers, in the angle between the two front gables.
I have lost all care for myself," she went on, tearing faster and faster at the tufts of grass.
As many minutes as you like," she rejoined, reclining on the bank in her former position, and returning to her former occupation of tearing up the tufts of grass and flinging them out into the air.
The North American warrior caused the hair to be plucked from his whole body; a small tuft was left on the crown of his head, in order that his enemy might avail himself of it, in wrenching off the scalp in the event of his fall.
This bit of skull, with the tuft of blond hair, was his; this is his hat.
However, as he thought his court-suit necessary to the occasion, it was not for me tell him that he looked far better in his working dress; the rather, because I knew he made himself so dreadfully uncomfortable, entirely on my account, and that it was for me he pulled up his shirt-collar so very high behind, that it made the hair on the crown of his head stand up like a tuft of feathers.
I could hardly have imagined dear old Joe looking so unlike himself or so like some extraordinary bird; standing, as he did, speechless, with his tuft of feathers ruffled, and his mouth open, as if he wanted a worm.
Through the thin haze of my cigar-smoke I noted the details of a face which was already familiar to me from many photographs--the strongly-curved nose, the hollow, worn cheeks, the dark, ruddy hair, thin at the top, the crisp, virile moustaches, the small, aggressive tuft upon his projecting chin.
He could not, any more than a man who has been looking at a tuft of steppe grass through the mist and taking it for a tree can again take it for a tree after he has once recognized it to be a tuft of grass.
Beyond stretched the rugged rock, wet and shining, with a green tuft here and there thrusting out from it, but little sign of ridge or foothold.
On he clambered, with his hand shuffling down the long sloping crack, sometimes bearing all his weight upon his arms, at others finding some small shelf or tuft on which to rest his foot.