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.
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 buff·er so·lu·tion [buhf-er suh-loo-shuhn] /ˈbʌf ər səˌlu ʃən/ . 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.
Digital Technology. to temporarily save (data) before actively accessing it so that it can be loaded at a rapid or uniform rate: Give the app time to buffer the audio when you are streaming music.You’ll get a load screen while the game buffers those high-resolution graphics.
- un·buff·ered, adjective
Other definitions for buffer (2 of 3)
Other definitions for buffer (3 of 3)
a foolish or incompetent person.
a fellow; man.
a chief boatswain's mate in the British navy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use buffer in a sentence
School connection is a protective factor for students — “a buffer for stress,” she said.Partly hidden by isolation, many of the nation’s schoolchildren struggle with mental health | Donna St. George, Valerie Strauss | January 21, 2021 | Washington Post
It’s not gathering feedback on whether you’d support a sea wall versus expanding a natural wetland as an ocean buffer.San Diego’s Climate Challenges Will Still Be Here in 2021 – and Beyond | MacKenzie Elmer | January 1, 2021 | Voice of San Diego
In Washington, the smallest buffer allowed on a stream that provides drinking water is 50 feet from either bank, and the state requires that additional trees be left behind up to 200 feet from the water.Timber Tax Cuts Cost Oregon Towns Billions. Then Polluted Water Drove Up the Price. | by Tony Schick, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and Rob Davis, The Oregonian/OregonLive | January 1, 2021 | ProPublica
A tree buffer along Old Georgia Highway 3, however, obscured his view of the coal ash ponds on site.A Power Company’s Quiet Land-Buying Spree Could Shield It From Coal Ash Cleanup Costs | by Max Blau for Georgia Health News | November 24, 2020 | ProPublica
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said that “no one can do anything other than go to and from voting” in the 100-foot buffer.Former Special Forces sought by business group to guard polling sites in Minnesota, company says | Josh Partlow | October 9, 2020 | Washington Post
He carried around a hundred pounds too many most of his life, a great buffer of flesh between himself and the world.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days | David Freeman | December 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Josh Rogin | October 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 DAILY BEAST
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? | Jamie Dettmer | October 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 … | Jamie Dettmer | October 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Indian agent is the local buffer between contending forces.Mystery Ranch | Arthur Chapman
This arrangement acts as a buffer to take up the end thrust on the shaft caused by the varying pressure of the wind on the wheel.The Boy Mechanic, Book 2 | Various
I took my seat beside him, while the lady, a useful little buffer state, was squeezed in between the two men of wrath at the back.The Poison Belt | Arthur Conan Doyle
She sketches out a letter to be written to the lady who is at present a buffer-state between the dried man and the parched women.Somehow Good | William de Morgan
His letters make a soft buffer, a foolish pretty window, a tinted veil between me and my too-harsh actualities.I, Mary MacLane | Mary MacLane
British Dictionary definitions for buffer (1 of 3)
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 solution a 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)
British Dictionary definitions for buffer (2 of 3)
any device used to shine, polish, etc; buff
a person who uses such a device
British Dictionary definitions for buffer (3 of 3)
British informal, offensive a stupid or bumbling man (esp in the phrase old buffer)
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
Scientific definitions for 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for buffer
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.