noun, often attributive
buf·​fa·​lo | \ ˈbə-fə-ˌlō How to pronounce buffalo (audio) \
plural buffalo or buffaloes also buffalos

Definition of buffalo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of several wild bovids: such as
c(1) : bison especially : a large North American bison (Bison bison) that has a dense coat of dark brown fur with a shaggy mane on the head and lower neck, short hollow horns, and heavy forequarters with a large muscular hump over the shoulders and that formerly was abundant in North America but is now reduced to small populations of plains and prairies chiefly of the central U.S. and Canada : american bison — compare european bison
(2) : the flesh of the buffalo used as food
2 : any of several suckers (genus Ictiobus) found mostly in the Mississippi River valley

called also buffalo fish


buffaloed; buffaloing

Definition of buffalo (Entry 2 of 2)

Illustration of buffalo

Illustration of buffalo


buffalo 1c(1)

In the meaning defined above

Examples of buffalo in a Sentence

Verb I'm not some newcomer that you can buffalo with that nonsense. in this debate I refuse to be buffaloed by a flurry of irrelevant issues
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now the Eastern Shoshone have 65 buffalo and the Northern Arapaho 32. David Kelly, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2022 An American buffalo is on the loose, casually roaming around Chicago's suburbs looking for a new home. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 10 Dec. 2021 In 2016, Canada allowed 100 buffalo to be returned to the Blackfeet Reservation. Michelle Miller, CBS News, 25 Nov. 2021 An effort to bring wild buffalo to the Great Plains aims to restore one of the world’s most endangered landscapes and increase climate resilience. Louise Johns, Wired, 12 June 2021 Others have a Columbian buffalo mozzarella that Frankel likes. Michael Russell, oregonlive, 16 Oct. 2020 Jaguars, sloths, tapirs, horses, coyotes, buffalo, rabbits, and squirrels up and down the North American continent are now spared from screwworms too. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 26 May 2020 Make that the big ten—lion, my face, leopard, my face, rhino, my face, elephant, my face, buffalo, my face. Colin Nissan, The New Yorker, 18 Dec. 2019 Today, a lot of paneer in India is made with a mix of buffalo and less-expensive cow’s milk. Leena Trivedi-grenier, SFChronicle.com, 15 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Eva has the senior management in our company completely buffaloed. Anchorage Daily News, 18 Feb. 2020 How far must buffalo roam to fulfill their ecological role? National Geographic, 16 Jan. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'buffalo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of buffalo


1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1891, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for buffalo


Italian bufalo & Spanish búfalo, from Late Latin bufalus, alteration of Latin bubalus, from Greek boubalos African gazelle

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Time Traveler for buffalo

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The first known use of buffalo was in 1562

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Cite this Entry

“Buffalo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buffalo. Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for buffalo


buf·​fa·​lo | \ ˈbə-fə-ˌlō How to pronounce buffalo (audio) \
plural buffalo or buffaloes

Kids Definition of buffalo

: any of several wild oxen and especially the American bison

Buffalo geographical name

Buf·​fa·​lo | \ ˈbə-fə-ˌlō How to pronounce Buffalo (audio) \

Definition of Buffalo

city and port on Lake Erie and the Niagara River in western New York population 261,310

Other Words from buffalo

Buffalonian \ ˌbə-​fə-​ˈlō-​nē-​ən How to pronounce Buffalo (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on buffalo

Nglish: Translation of buffalo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buffalo for Arabic Speakers


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