[boo-foh; Italian boof-faw]

noun, plural buf·fi [boo-fee Italian boof-fee] /ˈbu fi Italian ˈbuf fi/, buf·fos. Music.

(in opera) a comedy part, usually bass.
a male opera singer who specializes in comic roles.

Origin of buffo

1755–65; < Italian: ridiculous, comic actor who takes comic parts; back formation from buffone buffoon
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Examples from the Web for buffo

Historical Examples of buffo

  • Although the batrachian is of the genus bufo, he is by no means a buffo genius.

  • "Check me another time, Vere, if you see me inclined to be buffo," he said.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • That, my dear Buffo,” I replied, “is on account of the lava.


    Henry Festing Jones

  • I will tell you presently,” replied the buffo, “we must first go upstairs.


    Henry Festing Jones

  • And this must be Rosina,” whispered the buffo; “Dio mio, how death has aged her!


    Henry Festing Jones

British Dictionary definitions for buffo


noun plural -fi (-fɪ) or -fos

(in Italian opera of the 18th century) a comic part, esp one for a bass
Also called: buffo bass, basso buffo (Italian ˈbasso ˈbuffo) a bass singer who performs such a part

Word Origin for buffo

C18: from Italian (adj): comic, from buffo (n) buffoon
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