Origin: AS. Turf; akin to D. Turf peat, G. Torf, OHG. Zurba turf, Sw. & Icel. Torf turf, peat, Dan. Torv, Skr. Darbha a kind of grass, a tuft of grass.
1. That upper stratum of earth and vegetable mold which is filled with the roots of grass and other small plants, so as to adhere and form a kind of mat; sward; sod. At his head a grass-green turf. (Shak) The greek historian sets her in the field on a high heap of turves. (milton)
2. Peat, especially when prepared for fuel. See Peat.
3. Race course; horse racing; preceded by the. We . . . Claim the honors of the turf.
Turf is often used adjectively, or to form compounds which are generally self-explaining; as, turf ashes, turf cutter or turf-cutter, turf pit or turf-pit, turf-built, turf-clad, turf-covered, etc.
(Science: zoology) Turf ant, a small European ant (formica flava) which makes small ant-hills on heaths and commons. Turf drain, a drain made with turf or peat. Turf hedge, a hedge or fence formed with turf and plants of different kinds. Turf house, a house or shed formed of turf, common in the northern parts of Europe. Turf moss a tract of turfy, mossy, or boggy land. Turf spade, a spade for cutting and digging turf, longer and narrower than the common spade.