1

buffalo

play
noun, often attributive buf·fa·lo \ˈbə-fə-ˌlō\

Definition of buffalo

plural

buffalo

or

buffaloes

also

buffalos

  1. 1 :  any of several wild bovids: such asa :  water buffalob :  cape buffaloc (1) :  any of a genus (Bison) of bovids; especially :  a large shaggy-maned North American bovid (B. bison) that has short horns and heavy forequarters with a large muscular hump and that was formerly abundant on the central and western plains — compare wisent (2) :  the flesh of the buffalo used as food

  2. 2 :  any of several suckers (genus Ictiobus) found mostly in the Mississippi River valley —called also buffalo fish

Recent Examples of buffalo from the Web

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.

What is the origin of buffalo?

Greeks traveled much of the ancient world, and Greek authors gave names to many unfamiliar animals. The African gazelle they called boubalos. Later, the Romans borrowed this Greek word and used it for gazelle and for wild ox. In Latin the form was first bubalus and later bufalus. This Latin word for wild ox passed into Italian as bufalo and into Spanish as búfalo. From these languages, the English then picked up the word, spelling it buffalo, and when English settlers arrived in America, they gave the name to the big, shaggy animal that is also called bison.

Illustration of buffalo

Origin and Etymology of buffalo

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

Other Mammals Terms


2

buffalo

verb buf·fa·lo

Definition of buffalo

buffaloed

;

buffaloing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  bewilder, baffle; also :  bamboozle

Examples of buffalo in a Sentence

  1. I'm not some newcomer that you can buffalo with that nonsense.

  2. in this debate I refuse to be buffaloed by a flurry of irrelevant issues

Recent Examples of buffalo from the Web

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

1891


Buffalo

play
geographical name Buf·fa·lo \ˈbə-fə-ˌlō\

Definition of Buffalo

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

Buffalonian

play \ˌbə-fə-ˈlō-nē-ən\ noun

BUFFALO Defined for English Language Learners

Buffalo

play
geographical name

Definition of Buffalo for English Language Learners

  • : U.S. city, New York


BUFFALO Defined for Kids

buffalo

play
noun buf·fa·lo \ˈbə-fə-ˌlō\

Definition of buffalo for Students

plural

buffalo

or

buffaloes

  1. :  any of several wild oxen and especially the American bison


Buffalo

play
geographical name Buf·fa·lo \ˈbə-fə-ˌlō\

Definition of Buffalo for Students

  1. city W New York on Lake Erie



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