- a low, vibrating, humming sound, as of bees, machinery, or people talking.
- a rumor or report.
- Informal. a phone call: When I find out, I'll give you a buzz.
- a feeling of intense enthusiasm, excitement, or exhilaration: I got a terrific buzz from those Pacific sunsets.
- a feeling of slight intoxication.
- to make a low, vibrating, humming sound.
- to speak or murmur with such a sound.
- to be filled with the sound of buzzing or whispering: The room buzzed.
- to whisper; gossip: Everyone is buzzing about the scandal.
- to move busily from place to place.
- Slang. to go; leave (usually followed by off or along): I'll buzz along now. Tell him to buzz off and leave me alone.
- to make a buzzing sound with: The fly buzzed its wings.
- to tell or spread (a rumor, gossip, etc.) secretively.
- to signal or summon with a buzzer: He buzzed his secretary.
- Informal. to make a phone call to.
- to fly a plane very low over: to buzz a field.
- to signal or greet (someone) by flying a plane low and slowing the motor spasmodically.
- have/get a buzz on, Slang. to be slightly intoxicated: After a few beers they all had a buzz on.
Origin of buzz1
- (intr, adverb; often imperative) informal, mainly British to go away; leave; depart
- a rapidly vibrating humming sound, as that of a prolonged z or of a bee in flight
- a low sound, as of many voices in conversation
- a rumour; report; gossip
- informal a telephone callI'll give you a buzz
- a pleasant sensation, as from a drug such as cannabis
- a sense of excitement; kick
- (intr) to make a vibrating sound like that of a prolonged z
- (intr) to talk or gossip with an air of excitement or urgencythe town buzzed with the news
- (tr) to utter or spread (a rumour)
- (intr often foll by about) to move around quickly and busily; bustle
- (tr) to signal or summon with a buzzer
- (tr) informal to call by telephone
- (tr) informal
- to fly an aircraft very low over (an object)to buzz a ship
- to fly an aircraft very close to or across the path of (another aircraft), esp to warn or intimidate
- (tr) (esp of insects) to make a buzzing sound with (wings, etc)
Word Origin and History for buzz off
late 15c., echoic of bees and other insects. Aviation sense of "fly low and close" is by 1941 (see buzz (n.)). Related: Buzzed; buzzing. Buzz off (1914) originally meant "to ring off on the telephone," from the use of buzzers to signal a call or message on old systems. As a command, it originally would have been telling someone to get off the line.
"a busy rumour" [Rowe], 1620s (earlier "a fancy," c.1600), figurative use from buzz (v.). Literal sense of "humming sound" is from 1640s. A "buzz" was the characteristic sound of an airplane in early 20c.; hence verbal sense "to fly swiftly," by 1928; by 1940 especially in military use, "to fly low over a surface as a warning signal" (e.g. that target practice is about to begin):
The patrol aircraft shall employ the method of warning known as "buzzing" which consists of low flight by the airplane and repeated opening and closing of the throttle. [1941 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America," Chap. II, Corps of Engineers, War Department, p. 3434, etc. ]
Meaning "pleasant sense of intoxication" first recorded 1935. The children's game of counting off with 7 or multiples of it replaced by buzz is attested from 1864 and is mentioned in "Little Women" (1868). To give (someone) a buzz (by 1922) is from the buzz that announced a call on old telephone systems.
Idioms and Phrases with buzz off
Go away, leave. For example, The store owner told the teenagers to buzz off and find another place to hang out. This curt imperative dates from World War I. Also see bug off.