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[buhf-uh-loh] /ˈbʌf əˌloʊ/
noun, plural buffaloes, buffalos (especially collectively) buffalo.
any of several large wild oxen of the family Bovidae.
a shuffling tap-dance step.
verb (used with object), buffaloed, buffaloing. Informal.
to puzzle or baffle; confuse; mystify:
He was buffaloed by the problem.
to impress or intimidate by a display of power, importance, etc.:
The older boys buffaloed him.
Origin of buffalo
1535-45, Americanism; earlier bufalo < Portuguese (now bufaro) < Late Latin būfalus, variant of Latin būbalus bubal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for buffaloing
Historical Examples
  • When it comes to buffaloing the opposite side, that's my long suit.

    The Outlet Andy Adams
British Dictionary definitions for buffaloing


a port in W New York State, at the E end of Lake Erie. Pop: 285 018 (2003 est)


noun (pl) -loes, -lo
Also called Cape buffalo. a member of the cattle tribe, Syncerus caffer, mostly found in game reserves in southern and eastern Africa and having upward-curving horns
short for water buffalo
(US & Canadian) Also called bison. a member of the cattle tribe, Bison bison, formerly widely distributed over the prairies of W North America but now confined to reserves and parks, with a massive head, shaggy forequarters, and a humped back related adjective bubaline
verb (transitive) (US & Canadian, informal)
(often passive) to confuse
to intimidate
Word Origin
C16: from Italian bufalo, from Late Latin būfalus, alteration of Latin būbalus; see bubal
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
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Word Origin and History for buffaloing



1580s (earlier buffel, 1510s, from Middle French), from Portuguese bufalo "water buffalo," from Latin bufalus, variant of bubalus "wild ox," from Greek boubalos "buffalo," originally a kind of African antelope, later used of a type of domesticated ox in southern Asia and the Mediterranean lands, perhaps from bous "ox, cow" (see cow (n.)). Wrongly applied since 1630s to the American bison. Buffalo gnat is recorded from 1822.


city in western New York state, U.S., of disputed origin (there never were buffalo thereabouts), perhaps from the name of a native chief, or a corruption of French beau fleuve "beautiful river." Buffalo wings finger food so called because the recipe was invented in Buffalo (1964, at Frank & Teressa's Anchor Bar on Main Street).



"alarm, overawe," 1900, from buffalo (n.). Probably from the animals' tendency to mass panic. Related: Buffaloed; buffaloing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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buffaloing in Culture

Buffalo definition

City in western New York, on Lake Erie and the Niagara River.

Note: Niagara Falls is northwest of Buffalo.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for buffaloing



  1. A heavy or fat woman; cow (1950s+)
  2. A black person •This sense reflects that black troopers were called buffalo soldiers by Native Americans (1870s+)


  1. To confuse someone purposely, esp in order to cheat or dupe (1870+)
  2. To intimidate; cow; bulldoze (1890+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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