AskDefine | Define hassock

Dictionary Definition



1 thick cushion used as a seat [syn: ottoman, pouf, pouffe, puff]
2 a cushion for kneeling on (as when praying in church)

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A cushion used primarily in churches for kneeling on while praying.
  2. A thick cushion used as a seat; an ottoman or pouffe.
  3. A dense clump of grass; a tussock.


  • Hungarian: térdpárna, térdeplő
  • Hungarian: puff, lábpárna
  • Hungarian: fűcsomó

Extensive Definition

Tuffet, pouffe or hassock are all terms for a piece of furniture used as a footstool or low seat. It is distinguished from a stool by being completely covered in fabric so that no legs are visible. It's essentially a large hard cushion that may have an internal wooden frame to give it more rigidity. Wooden feet may be added to the base to give it stability. If the piece is larger, so that storage can take place inside it, then it is generally known as an ottoman.
Hassock has special association with churches, as it is used to describe the thick cushions employed by the congregation to kneel on while in prayer.
The names tuffet and hassock are both derived from English names for a small grassy hillock or clump of grass, in use since at least the sixteenth century. Pouffe is a nineteenth century French import for "something puffed out". A tuffet is also an English unit of capacity, equal to 2 pecks, or half a bushel.
Another connotation of the word tuffet is the description of an inflatable landing area for precision parachute landings.

Further reading

  • Technical Design Solutions for Theatre: the technical brief collection — a proposed design for a four-wheel tuffet, to replace the three-wheeled design used by the Yale School of Drama

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Eames chair, Hitchcock chair, TV chair, armchair, armless chair, back seat, banquette, bar stool, barber chair, barrel chair, basket chair, batch, batwing chair, bed chair, bench, bicycle seat, boudoir chair, bow-back chair, bucket seat, bunch, camp chair, campaign chair, club chair, club lounge chair, clump, cluster, comb-back chair, contour chair, copse, cricket, cricket chair, crop, dining chair, draft chair, easy chair, elbowchair, fan-back chair, fauteuil, fender stool, folding chair, foldstool, form, garden chair, group, grouping, groupment, grove, growth, high chair, horse, knot, ladder-back chair, lot, mess, milking stool, ottoman, overstuffed chair, pew, plantation, planting, platform rocker, rocker, rocking chair, sedan chair, settle, shock, slew, stand, step stool, stook, stool, swing, taboret, thicket, throne, tuft, tussock, wisp
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