Tuff (from the Italian tufo), also known as volcanic tuff, is a type of rock made of volcanic ash ejected from a vent during a volcanic eruption. Following ejection and deposition, the ash is compacted into a solid rock in a process called consolidation. Tuff is sometimes erroneously called “tufa”, particularly when used as construction material, but properly speaking, tufa is a limestone precipitated from groundwater. Rock that contains greater than 50% tuff is considered tuffaceous.
Tuff is a relatively soft rock, so it has been used for construction since ancient times. Since it is common in Italy, the Romans used it often for construction. The Rapa Nui people used it to make most of the moai statues in Easter Island.
Tuff can be classified as either sedimentary or igneous rock. They are usually studied in the context of igneous petrology, although they are sometimes described using sedimentological terms.
Strong and resilient; sturdy.
“The tent, made of tough canvas, held up to many abuses.”
Difficult to cut or chew.
“To soften a tough cut of meat, the recipe suggested simmering it for hours.”
Rugged or physically hardy.
“Only a tough species will survive in the desert.”
“He had a reputation as a tough negotiator.”
Harsh or severe.
Rowdy or rough.
“A bunch of the tough boys from the wrong side of the tracks threatened him.”
Difficult or demanding.
“This is a tough crowd.”
Undergoing plastic deformation before breaking.
Used to indicate lack of sympathy
“If you don’t like it, tough!”
A person who obtains things by force; a thug or bully.
“They were doing fine until they encountered a bunch of toughs from the opposition.”
A light porous rock, now especially a rock composed of compacted volcanic ash varying in size from fine sand to coarse gravel.
(of a substance or object) strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough handling
“tough rucksacks for climbers”
(of food, especially meat) difficult to cut or chew
“the hastily prepared steak was tough”
able to endure hardship or pain
“she was as tough as old boots”
having the confidence and determination to cope in difficult situations
“he liked editors who were tough enough to make the grade”
difficult and requiring determination or effort
“we have six tough matches in a row”
used to express sympathy with someone in a difficult situation
“Poor kid. It’s tough on her”
demonstrating a strict and uncompromising approach
“police have been getting tough with drivers”
“tough new laws on tobacco advertising”
used to express a lack of sympathy with someone
“I feel the way I feel, and if you don’t like it, tough”
strong and prone to violence
“tough young teenagers”
(of an area) notorious for violence and crime
“a tough part of the town”
a rough and violent man
“a gang of toughs”
endure a period of hardship or difficulty.
a light, porous rock formed by consolidation of volcanic ash.