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[too-fuh, tyoo-] /ˈtu fə, ˈtyu-/
noun, Geology.
Also called calcareous tufa, calc-tufa, calc-tuff. a porous limestone formed from calcium carbonate deposited by springs or the like.
Compare travertine.
(not in technical use) tuff 2 .
Origin of tufa
1760-70; < Italian tufo < Latin tōfus
Related forms
[too-fey-shuh s, tyoo-] /tuˈfeɪ ʃəs, tyu-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tufa
Historical Examples
  • It was dug in a solid mass of tufa nearly ten mtres thick, which had been formed in the centuries anterior to Csar.

    History of Julius Caesar Vol. 2 of 2 Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, 1808-1873.
  • The material is generally lava, but tufa and limestone are also found.

  • The rocks in the vicinity are all tufa, and some of the springs break out close to the cold water of the lake.

  • In style and construction this colonnade belongs to the tufa Period (p. 40).

  • In those parts of the Campagna where basalt rather than tufa becomes the usual material, as at Prneste, we find polygonal masonry.

    Old Rome Robert Burn
  • The colonnade about the court was built of tufa, and coated with white stucco.

  • The substruction of this temple, which has been laid bare, consists of tufa cased with travertine.

    Old Rome Robert Burn
  • The Doric columns were of tufa, coated with fine white stucco.

  • Most of the churches and palaces and houses of Orvieto were also built of tufa.

  • tufa is found all over the Campagna, and is of volcanic origin.

    Rambles in Rome S. Russell Forbes
British Dictionary definitions for tufa


a soft porous rock consisting of calcium carbonate deposited from springs rich in lime Also called calc-tufa
Derived Forms
tufaceous (tjuːˈfeɪʃəs) adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Italian tufo, from Late Latin tōfus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tufa

"a porous rock," 1770, from Italian tufa "tufa, porous rock," probably from Latin tufus, tophus "loose, porous volcanic rock," said to be an Oscan-Umbrian loan-word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tufa in Science
A soft, friable, and porous sedimentary rock consisting of calcium carbonate and formed by the evaporation of water, especially at the mouth of a hot spring or on a drying lakebed. It is similar to, but harder than, travertine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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