[ buh-fey, boo- or, especially for adjective, boo-fey; British buhf-it ]
See synonyms for buffet on Thesaurus.com
    • a variety of dishes presented in a line, from which diners in a restaurant serve themselves, usually at a fixed price regardless of how much one eats: The lavish all-you-can-eat buffet delivered a feast of salads, curries, pasta dishes, and sumptuous desserts for $40.

    • a restaurant where food is presented in this way: They own one of the best high-end buffets in the country.

  1. a meal laid out on one or more tables so that guests may serve themselves.

  1. a sideboard or cabinet for holding china, table linen, etc.

  2. a wide variety of things to choose from: The school’s internet safety workshop contains a buffet of ideas for parents in the 21st century.

  3. a counter, bar, or the like, for lunch or refreshments.

  4. a restaurant containing such a counter or bar.

  1. 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

First recorded in 1710–20; from French, Old French; of obscure origin

Other definitions for buffet (2 of 2)

[ buhf-it ]

  1. a blow, as with the hand or fist.

  2. a violent shock or concussion.

verb (used with object),buf·fet·ed, buf·fet·ing.
  1. to strike, as with the hand or fist.

  2. to strike against or push repeatedly: The wind buffeted the house.

  1. to contend against; battle.

verb (used without object),buf·fet·ed, buf·fet·ing.
  1. to struggle with blows of hand or fist.

  2. to force one's way by a fight, struggle, etc.

Origin of buffet

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English, Old French buffe “a blow” + -et -et

Other words for buffet

Other words from buffet

  • buf·fet·er, noun
  • un·buf·fet·ed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for buffet (1 of 3)


  1. (ˈbʊfeɪ) a counter where light refreshments are served

  2. (ˈbʊfeɪ)

    • a meal at which guests help themselves from a number of dishes and often eat standing up

    • (as modifier): a buffet lunch

  1. (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

  2. (ˈbʌfɪ) Scot and Northern English dialect a kind of low stool, pouffe, or hassock

Origin of buffet

C18: from French, of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for buffet (2 of 3)


/ (ˈbʌfɪt) /

verb-fets, -feting or -feted
  1. (tr) to knock against or about; batter: the wind buffeted the boat

  2. (tr) to hit, esp with the fist; cuff

  1. to force (one's way), as through a crowd

  2. (intr) to struggle; battle

  1. a blow, esp with a fist or hand

  2. aerodynamic excitation of an aircraft structure by separated flows

Origin of buffet

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

Derived forms of buffet

  • buffeter, noun

British Dictionary definitions for Buffet (3 of 3)


/ (French byfɛ) /

  1. 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