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buff

1
[ buhf ]
/ bʌf /
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See synonyms for: buff / buffer on Thesaurus.com

noun
adjective
verb (used with object)
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Origin of buff

1
First recorded in 1545–55; 1900–05 for def. 4; earlier buffe “wild ox,” back formation from buffle, from Middle French, from Late Latin būfalus; see buffalo; (def. 4) originally a person enthusiastic about firefighting and firefighters, allegedly after the buff-colored uniforms once worn by volunteer firefighters in New York City

OTHER WORDS FROM buff

buff·a·bil·i·ty, nounbuff·a·ble, adjective

Other definitions for buff (2 of 2)

buff2
[ buhf ]
/ bʌf /

verb (used with object)
to reduce or deaden the force of; act as a buffer.
noun
Chiefly British Dialect. a blow; slap.

Origin of buff

2
1375–1425; late Middle English buffe, back formation from buffet1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use buff in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for buff (1 of 3)

buff1
/ (bʌf) /

noun
  1. a soft thick flexible undyed leather made chiefly from the skins of buffalo, oxen, and elk
  2. (as modifier)a buff coat
  1. a dull yellow or yellowish-brown colour
  2. (as adjective)buff paint
Also called: buffer
  1. a cloth or pad of material used for polishing an object
  2. a flexible disc or wheel impregnated with a fine abrasive for polishing metals, etc, with a power tool
informal one's bare skin (esp in the phrase in the buff)
verb
to clean or polish (a metal, floor, shoes, etc) with a buff
to remove the grain surface of (a leather)

Word Origin for buff

C16: from Old French buffle, from Old Italian bufalo, from Late Latin būfalus buffalo

British Dictionary definitions for buff (2 of 3)

buff2
/ (bʌf) /

verb
(tr) to deaden the force of
noun
archaic a blow or buffet (now only in the phrase blind man's buff)

Word Origin for buff

C15: back formation from buffet ²

British Dictionary definitions for buff (3 of 3)

buff3
/ (bʌf) /

noun
informal an expert on or devotee of a given subjecta cheese buff

Word Origin for buff

C20: originally US: an enthusiastic fire watcher, from the buff-coloured uniforms worn by volunteer firemen in New York City
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with buff

buff

see in the buff.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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