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a soft, thick, light-yellow leather with a napped surface, originally made from buffalo skin but later also from other skins, used for making belts, pouches, etc.
a brownish-yellow color; tan.
a buff stick or buff wheel.
a devotee or well-informed student of some activity or subject:
Civil War buffs avidly read the new biography of Grant.
Informal. the bare skin:
in the buff.
Also called buffcoat. a thick, short coat of buffalo leather, worn especially by English soldiers and American colonists in the 17th century.
Informal. a buffalo.
having the color of buff.
made of buff leather.
Slang. physically attractive; muscular.
to clean or polish (metal) or give a grainless finish of high luster to (plated surfaces) with or as if with a buff stick or buff wheel.
to polish or shine, especially with a buffer:
to buff shoes.
to dye or stain in a buff color.
to reduce or deaden the force of; act as a buffer.
Chiefly British Dialect. a blow; slap.
Contemporary Examples

L.A. Riots Anniversary: Stacey Koon’s Disturbing Testimony Christine Pelisek April 27, 2012
Horoscopes: May 8-14 Starsky + Cox May 6, 2011
The Most Exciting New Hotels, Restaurants, and Submarines of 2014 Charlie Gilbert December 28, 2014
L.A. Riots Anniversary: Stacey Koon’s Disturbing Testimony Christine Pelisek April 27, 2012
Dead Cool: Anna May Wong Simon Doonan February 27, 2010

Historical Examples

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town Cory Doctorow
The Risk Profession Donald Edwin Westlake
Animal Proteins Hugh Garner Bennett
Scientific American Supplement, No. 586, March 26, 1887 Various
Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith


a soft thick flexible undyed leather made chiefly from the skins of buffalo, oxen, and elk
(as modifier): a buff coat

a dull yellow or yellowish-brown colour
(as adjective): buff paint

Also called buffer

a cloth or pad of material used for polishing an object
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)
to clean or polish (a metal, floor, shoes, etc) with a buff
to remove the grain surface of (a leather)
(transitive) to deaden the force of
(archaic) a blow or buffet (now only in the phrase blind man’s buff)
(informal) an expert on or devotee of a given subject: a cheese buff

The Buffs are men and boys whose love of fires, fire-fighting and firemen is a predominant characteristic. [N.Y. “Sun,” Feb. 4, 1903]

see: in the buff


Read Also:

  • Buffer

    an apparatus at the end of a railroad car, railroad track, etc., for absorbing shock during coupling, collisions, etc. any device, material, or apparatus used as a shield, cushion, or bumper, especially on machinery. any intermediate or intervening shield or device reducing the danger of interaction between two machines, chemicals, electronic components, etc. a person […]

  • Buffel-grass

    noun (Austral) a pasture grass, Cenchrus ciliaris, native to Africa and India, introduced in N Australia

  • Buffer-overflow

    buffer overflow

  • Buffer-overrun

    buffer overrun

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