- a soft, thick, light-yellow leather with a napped surface, originally made from buffalo skin but later also from other skins, used for making belts, pouches, etc.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
Examples from the Web for buffing
Hall watched him now, buffing his nails with a chamois board.The Five Arrows
Buffing is practically only the grain of cowskin from which almost all the flesh has been split.
"Buffing" consists in smoothing the rough surfaces of the horn by means of wheels covered with walrus skin.
But as buffing is never sold as cow, the library binder has no excuse for keeping it in stock.
Here the grain is removed, and the velvet finish secured by buffing the surface on an emery wheel.
- 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 buffing
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 buffing
see in the buff.