a blow, as with the hand or fist.
a violent shock or concussion.

verb (used with object), buf·fet·ed, buf·fet·ing.

verb (used without object), buf·fet·ed, buf·fet·ing.

to struggle with blows of hand or fist.
to force one's way by a fight, struggle, etc.

Origin of buffet

1175–1225; Middle English < Old French buffe a blow + -et -et
Related formsbuf·fet·er, nounun·buf·fet·ed, adjective

Synonyms for buffet


[buh-fey, boo- adjective, boo-fey; British buhf-it]


a sideboard or cabinet for holding china, table linen, etc.
a meal laid out on a table or sideboard so that guests may serve themselves.
a counter, bar, or the like, for lunch or refreshments.
a restaurant containing such a counter or bar.


consisting of food, refreshments, etc., laid out on tables or buffets from which guests or customers serve themselves: a buffet supper; buffet service.

Origin of buffet

1710–20; < French, Old French, of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for buffet

Contemporary Examples of buffet

Historical Examples of buffet

  • He had even the look of one who has received a buffet that he cannot return.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • Alone in his office, Lee Gorman strode angrily to the buffet.

    The Big Tomorrow

    Paul Lohrman

  • In the ensuing silence he repaired to the buffet and drank a glass of vodka.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • But at that moment Irma Becot appeared, and stopped in front of the buffet.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • Setting my candle on the buffet, I opened one of the drawers.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for buffet




(ˈbʊfeɪ) a counter where light refreshments are served
  1. a meal at which guests help themselves from a number of dishes and often eat standing up
  2. (as modifier)a buffet lunch
(ˈbʌfɪt, ˈbʊfeɪ) a piece of furniture used from medieval times to the 18th century for displaying plates, etc and typically comprising one or more cupboards and some open shelves
(ˈbʌfɪ) Scot and Northern English dialect a kind of low stool, pouffe, or hassock

Word Origin for buffet

C18: from French, of unknown origin



verb -fets, -feting or -feted

(tr) to knock against or about; batterthe wind buffeted the boat
(tr) to hit, esp with the fist; cuff
to force (one's way), as through a crowd
(intr) to struggle; battle


a blow, esp with a fist or hand
aerodynamic excitation of an aircraft structure by separated flows
Derived Formsbuffeter, noun

Word Origin for buffet

C13: from Old French buffeter, from buffet a light blow, from buffe, of imitative origin



Bernard (bɛrnar). 1928–99, French painter and engraver. His works are characterized by sombre tones and thin angular forms
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

Word Origin and History for buffet

c.1200, "to strike with the fist or hand; cuff, box, slap; from Old French bufeter "to strike, slap, punch," from bufet (see buffet (n.2)). Related: Buffeted; buffeting.


"table," 1718, from French bufet "bench, stool, sideboard," 12c., of uncertain origin. Sense in English extended 1888 to "meal served from a buffet."


c.1200, "blow struck with a fist or weapon," from Old French bufet "slap, punch," diminutive of bufe "a blow, slap, punch; puff of wind," figuratively "cunning trick," probably echoic of the sound of something soft being hit.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper