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buffer

1
[ buhf-er ]
/ ˈbʌf ər /
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noun
verb (used with object)
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Origin of buffer

1
First recorded in 1825–35; buff2 + -er1

OTHER WORDS FROM buffer

un·buff·ered, adjective

Other definitions for buffer (2 of 3)

buffer2
[ buhf-er ]
/ ˈbʌf ər /

noun
a device for polishing or buffing, as a buff stick or buff wheel.
a worker who uses such a device.

Origin of buffer

2
First recorded in 1850–55; buff1 + -er1

Other definitions for buffer (3 of 3)

buffer3
[ buhf-er ]
/ ˈbʌf ər /

noun British Slang.
a foolish or incompetent person.
a fellow; man.
a chief boatswain's mate in the British navy.

Origin of buffer

3
First recorded in1745–50; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use buffer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for buffer (1 of 3)

buffer1
/ (ˈbʌfə) /

noun
verb (tr)
to insulate against or protect from shock; cushion
chem to add a buffer to (a solution)

Word Origin for buffer

C19: from buff ²

British Dictionary definitions for buffer (2 of 3)

buffer2
/ (ˈbʌfə) /

noun
any device used to shine, polish, etc; buff
a person who uses such a device

British Dictionary definitions for buffer (3 of 3)

buffer3
/ (ˈbʌfə) /

noun
British informal, offensive a stupid or bumbling man (esp in the phrase old buffer)

Word Origin for buffer

C18: perhaps from Middle English buffer stammerer
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

buffer
[ bŭfər ]

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

buffer

In chemistry, the components of a solution that can neutralize either an acid or a base and thus maintain a constant pH.

notes for buffer

Buffers are often used in medications designed to decrease acidity in the stomach.
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.
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