[ loo-fuh ]
/ ˈlu fə /


Also called dishcloth gourd, rag gourd.
  1. any of several tropical vines of the genus Luffa, of the gourd family, bearing large, elongated fruit.
  2. the fruit of such a vine.
Also called vegetable sponge. the dried, fibrous interior of this fruit, used as a sponge.
Also loo·fa, luffa.

Origin of loofah

1860–65; < New Latin Luffa the genus < Arabic lūf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for loofa


/ (ˈluːfə) /


the fibrous interior of the fruit of the dishcloth gourd, which is dried, bleached, and used as a bath sponge or for scrubbing
another name for dishcloth gourd
Also called (esp US): loofa, luffa

Word Origin for loofah

C19: from New Latin luffa, from Arabic lūf
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 loofa



1879, from Egyptian Arabic lufah, the name of the plant (Luffa ægyptiaca) with fibrous pods from which flesh-brushes are made.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper