- a soft, thick, light-yellow leather with a napped surface, originally made from buffalo skin but later also from other skins, used for making belts, pouches, etc.
- a brownish-yellow color; tan.
- a buff stick or buff wheel.
- a devotee or well-informed student of some activity or subject: Civil War buffs avidly read the new biography of Grant.
- Informal. the bare skin: in the buff.
- Also called buffcoat. a thick, short coat of buffalo leather, worn especially by English soldiers and American colonists in the 17th century.
- Informal. a buffalo.
- having the color of buff.
- made of buff leather.
- Slang. physically attractive; muscular.
Origin of buff1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to reduce or deaden the force of; act as a buffer.
- Chiefly British Dialect. a blow; slap.
Origin of buff2
- plate armor for the lower part of the face and the throat, used with a burgonet.
Origin of buffe
Examples from the Web for buff
Then Ziegler tosses the buff LaBeouf around like a rag doll.Sia and Shia LaBeouf’s Pedophilia Nontroversy Over ‘Elastic Heart’
January 9, 2015
The lacquer cures for 72 hours, and then is sanded by hand to buff out any imperfections.Behind the Wheel of the Bespoke Bentley
October 27, 2014
Before William entered the pool, Charles joked, "I know my eldest will now demonstrate his buff credentials".William Tells Dad, "You're Buff, Pa!"
July 9, 2014
Anyone who wanted to see Shia LaBeouf without the buff is out of luck.‘This Is the End’ Is Last Blockbuster Rental Ever, Miley Cyrus Tweets About Pot Scandal
November 12, 2013
Manchester knew that you were a World War II buff, and that you were deeply interested in Churchill long before you met him.The Final Roar: Paul Reid on Finishing William Manchester’s Life of Churchill
November 16, 2012
Mary said at last, and he opened the buff envelope and took out the form.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
A man must consider what a blindman's-buff is this game of conformity.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
That's what I call blindman's-buff on a new principle, and no mistake!
The colour was buff, and there were seams of coal and lignite in places.A Canyon Voyage
Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
Puff——muff——buff——I say, Berta, how would Muff do for yours?Mary's Rainbow
Mary Edward Feehan
- a soft thick flexible undyed leather made chiefly from the skins of buffalo, oxen, and elk
- (as modifier)a buff coat
- a dull yellow or yellowish-brown colour
- (as adjective)buff paint
- Also called: buffer
- a cloth or pad of material used for polishing an object
- a flexible disc or wheel impregnated with a fine abrasive for polishing metals, etc, with a power tool
- informal one's bare skin (esp in the phrase in the buff)
- to clean or polish (a metal, floor, shoes, etc) with a buff
- to remove the grain surface of (a leather)
- (tr) to deaden the force of
- archaic a blow or buffet (now only in the phrase blind man's buff)
- informal an expert on or devotee of a given subjecta cheese buff
Word Origin and History for buff
1570s, buffe leather "leather made of buffalo hide," from Middle French buffle "buffalo" (15c., via Italian, from Latin bufalus; see buffalo (n.)).
The color term comes from the hue of buffalo hides (later ox hides). Association of "hide" and "skin" led c.1600 to in the buff. Buff-colored uniforms of New York City volunteer firefighters since 1820s led to meaning "enthusiast" (1903).
The Buffs are men and boys whose love of fires, fire-fighting and firemen is a predominant characteristic. [N.Y. "Sun," Feb. 4, 1903]
"well-built, hunky," 1980s, from buff (v.) "polish, make attractive."
"to polish, make attractive," 1885, in reference to the treatment of buff leather or else to the use of buff cloth in polishing metals, from buff (n.). Related: Buffed; buffing.
Idioms and Phrases with buff
see in the buff.