• synonyms


[too-fuh, tyoo-]
noun Geology.
  1. Also called calcareous tufa, calc-tufa, calc-tuff. a porous limestone formed from calcium carbonate deposited by springs or the like.Compare travertine.
  2. (not in technical use) tuff2.
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Origin of tufa

1760–70; < Italian tufo < Latin tōfus
Related formstu·fa·ceous [too-fey-shuh s, tyoo-] /tuˈfeɪ ʃəs, tyu-/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tufa

Historical Examples of tufa

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

    The Saracen: Land of the Infidel

    Robert Shea

  • The material was in most cases gray, occasionally yellow, tufa.

  • The material is generally lava, but tufa and limestone are also found.

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

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

British Dictionary definitions for tufa


  1. a soft porous rock consisting of calcium carbonate deposited from springs rich in limeAlso called: calc-tufa
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Derived Formstufaceous (tjuːˈfeɪʃəs), adjective

Word Origin for tufa

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tufa in Science


  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.