Definition of buffalo
1 : any of several wild bovids: as a : water buffalo b : cape buffalo c (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 : any of several suckers (genus Ictiobus) found mostly in the Mississippi valley —called also buffalo fish
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of buffalo
Italian bufalo & Spanish búfalo, from Late Latin bufalus, alteration of Latin bubalus, from Greek boubalos African gazelle
First Known Use: 1562
Examples of buffalo in a sentence
<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>
First Known Use of buffalo
BUFFALO Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of Buffalo for English Language Learners
: U.S. city, New York
BUFFALO Defined for Kids
Definition of buffalo for Students
: any of several wild oxen and especially the American bison
Definition of Buffalo for Students
city W New York on Lake Erie
Seen and Heard
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