the act of lining, trimming, or clothing with fur: Furring this coat will take several weeks.
the fur used: What kind of furring would you like?
the formation of a coating of matter on something, as on the tongue: A heavy furring could mean a high fever.
Building Trades.
  1. the attaching of strips of wood or the like (furring strips) to a wall or other surface, as to provide an even support for lath or to provide an air space between the wall and plasterwork.
  2. material used for this purpose.

Origin of furring

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at fur, -ing1




the fine, soft, thick, hairy coat of the skin of a mammal.
the skin of certain animals, as the sable, ermine, or beaver, covered with such a coat, used for lining, trimming, or making garments.
a garment made of fur.
any coating resembling or suggesting fur, as certain matter on the tongue.
Heraldry. any conventional representation of a fur, as ermine, vair, potent, or their variations.


of or relating to fur, animal skins, dressed pelts, etc.: a fur coat; a fur trader.

verb (used with object), furred, fur·ring.

to line, face, or trim, with fur, as a garment.
Building Trades. to apply furring to (a wall, ceiling, etc.).
to clothe (a person) with fur.
to coat with foul or deposited matter.


    make the fur fly,
    1. to cause a scene or disturbance, especially of a violent nature; make trouble: When the kids got mad they really made the fur fly.
    2. to do things quickly: She always makes the fur fly when she types.

Origin of fur

1300–50; Middle English furre (noun), derivative of furren to trim with fur < Anglo-French furrer, Old French fo(u)rrer orig. to encase, derivative of fuerre sheath < Germanic; akin to Old English fōdder case, sheath, Old Norse fōthr, Greek pṓma
Related formsfur·less, adjective
Can be confusedfir fur
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for furring

Historical Examples of furring

  • A piece of furring strip should be run from the top of the pipe to the wall.

  • Temporarily hard water may be softened by boiling; the lime will be deposited, as may be seen in the "furring" of tea-kettles.

  • We put in the winter there, furring, and every time he came home from the round of traps, he'd sell me all the pelts.

    A Man in the Open

    Roger Pocock

  • In the winter the northern people move up the bays and go "furring."

    Le Petit Nord

    Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding

  • Another cause of disaster is the furring up of the pipes with the lime deposited by hard water when heated.

    How it Works

    Archibald Williams

British Dictionary definitions for furring



  1. short for furring strip
  2. the fixing of furring strips
  3. furring strips collectively
the formation of fur on the tongue
trimming of animal fur, as on a coat or other garment, or furs collectively



the dense coat of fine silky hairs on such mammals as the cat, seal, and mink
  1. the dressed skin of certain fur-bearing animals, with the hair left on
  2. (as modifier)a fur coat
a garment made of fur, such as a coat or stole
  1. a pile fabric made in imitation of animal fur
  2. a garment made from such a fabric
heraldry any of various stylized representations of animal pelts or their tinctures, esp ermine or vair, used in coats of arms
informal a whitish coating of cellular debris on the tongue, caused by excessive smoking, an upset stomach, etc
British a whitish-grey deposit consisting chiefly of calcium carbonate precipitated from hard water onto the insides of pipes, boilers, and kettles
make the fur fly to cause a scene or disturbance

verb furs, furring or furred

(tr) to line or trim a garment, etc, with fur
(often foll by up) to cover or become covered with a furlike lining or deposit
(tr) to clothe (a person) in a fur garment or garments
Derived Formsfurless, adjective

Word Origin for fur

C14: from Old French forrer to line a garment, from fuerre sheath, of Germanic origin; related to Old English fōdder case, Old Frisian fōder coat lining
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

Word Origin and History for furring



late 14c. "trimming or lining of a garment" (implied c.1300 in surname Furhode "fur hood"), probably from Old French fourrer "to line, sheathe," from fuerre "sheath, covering," from Frankish *fodr or another Germanic source (cf. Old Frisian foder "coat lining," Old High German fotar "a lining," German Futter, Gothic fodr "sword sheath"), from Proto-Germanic *fodram "sheath."

Sense transferred in English from the notion of a lining to the thing used in it. First applied early 15c. to animal hair still on the animal.

I'le make the fur Flie 'bout the eares of the old Cur. [Butler, "Hudibras," 1663]

As a verb, from c.1300, from Old French fourrer. Related: Furred; furring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with furring


see make the dust (fur) fly.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.