- an apparatus at the end of a railroad car, railroad track, etc., for absorbing shock during coupling, collisions, etc.
- any device, material, or apparatus used as a shield, cushion, or bumper, especially on machinery.
- any intermediate or intervening shield or device reducing the danger of interaction between two machines, chemicals, electronic components, etc.
- a person or thing that shields and protects against annoyance, harm, hostile forces, etc., or that lessens the impact of a shock or reversal.
- any reserve moneys, negotiable securities, legal procedures, etc., that protect a person, organization, or country against financial ruin.
- buffer state.
- Ecology. an animal population that becomes the prey of a predator that usually feeds on a different species.
- Computers. a storage device for temporarily holding data until the computer is ready to receive or process the data, as when a receiving unit has an operating speed lower than that of the unit feeding data to it.
- Electronics. a circuit with a single output activated by one or more of several inputs.
- any substance or mixture of compounds that, added to a solution, is capable of neutralizing both acids and bases without appreciably changing the original acidity or alkalinity of the solution.
- Also called buffer solution.a solution containing such a substance.
- Chemistry. to treat with a buffer.
- to cushion, shield, or protect.
- to lessen the adverse effect of; ease: The drug buffered his pain.
Origin of buffer1
Origin of buffer2
- a foolish or incompetent person.
- a fellow; man.
- a chief boatswain's mate in the British navy.
Origin of buffer3
- a soft, thick, light-yellow leather with a napped surface, originally made from buffalo skin but later also from other skins, used for making belts, pouches, etc.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
Examples from the Web for buffer
The buffer zone would protect civilians, Syrian rebels, and Kurds against ISIS assaults.Top Senate Dem Calls for Buffer Zone and No-fly Zone in Syria
October 16, 2014
Levin is calling for a Turkish buffer zone inside Syria, protected by a U.S.-led no fly zone.Exclusive: Turkey OK’s American Drones to Fight ISIS
Eli Lake, Josh Rogin
October 16, 2014
The Kurds entered a buffer zone on the Turkish border and in the melee at least four protestor were wounded.Kobani Still Stands Against ISIS and All Odds. But for How Long?
October 12, 2014
And the Americans are currently ruling out boots on the ground in Syria or buffer zones.U.S. Planes are Blowing the Hell out of ISIS at Kobani, But …
October 9, 2014
Pro-choice advocates, meanwhile, argue that the buffer zones are necessary for public safety.
It was a large, quiet hand—like himself, somewhat suggestive of a buffer.Roden's Corner
Henry Seton Merriman
The Y Bar outfit has been a sort of buffer between the two factions.Prairie Flowers
James B. Hendryx
A new era began; the buffer was gone; my mother and Victoria were face and face.The King's Mirror
In some ways it was a comfort to have this buffer between her and Dick.Jewel Weed
Alice Ames Winter
He was sure of his ally, and very glad to use him as a buffer to receive the first shock.A Simpleton
- one of a pair of spring-loaded steel pads attached at both ends of railway vehicles and at the end of a railway track to reduce shock due to contact
- a person or thing that lessens shock or protects from damaging impact, circumstances, etc
- an ionic compound, usually a salt of a weak acid or base, added to a solution to resist changes in its acidity or alkalinity and thus stabilize its pH
- Also called: buffer solutiona solution containing such a compound
- computing a memory device for temporarily storing data
- electronics an isolating circuit used to minimize the reaction between a driving and a driven circuit
- short for buffer state
- hit the buffers informal to finish or be stopped, esp unexpectedly
- to insulate against or protect from shock; cushion
- chem to add a buffer to (a solution)
- any device used to shine, polish, etc; buff
- a person who uses such a device
- British informal, offensive a stupid or bumbling man (esp in the phrase old buffer)
- 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 buffer
1835, agent noun from obsolete verb buff "make a dull sound when struck" (mid-16c.), from Old French bufe "a blow, slap, punch" (see buffet (n.2)); hence also "something that absorbs a blow."
1894, from buffer (n.). Related: Buffered; buffering.
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.
- A substance that minimizes change in the acidity of a solution when an acid or base is added to the solution.
- To treat a solution with a buffer.
- Chemistry A substance that prevents change in the acidity of a solution when an acid or base is added to the solution or when the solution is diluted. Buffers are used to make solutions of known pH, especially for instrument calibration purposes. Natural buffers also exist in living organisms, where biochemical reactions are very sensitive to changes in pH.
- Computer Science A device or an area of a computer that temporarily stores data that is being transferred between two machines that process data at different rates, such as a computer and a printer.
Idioms and Phrases with buffer
see in the buff.