buffalo

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 3)

1 : any of several wild bovids: such as
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 River valley

called also buffalo fish

buffalo

verb
buffaloed; buffaloing

Definition of buffalo (Entry 2 of 3)

Buffalo

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

Definition of Buffalo (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Illustration of buffalo

Illustration of buffalo

Noun

buffalo 1c(1)

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from buffalo

Geographical name

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

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.

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

Since 1961, methane emissions from ruminant livestock, which include cows as well as sheep, buffalo, and goats, have significantly increased, according to the report. Christopher Flavelle, BostonGlobe.com, "Climate change threatens the world’s food supply, United Nations warns," 8 Aug. 2019 That’s why a lion that attacks a buffalo is taking a huge risk of dying. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "What are Africa’s Big Five? Meet the continent’s most iconic wildlife," 26 July 2019 The National Park Service, for example, does not allow its arrowhead symbol — the brown insignia depicting a green tree, a snowy mountain and a buffalo — to be licensed for consumer merchandise. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, "The NASA logo is having a moment," 19 July 2019 This year the herd of tiny buffalo has been particularly devastating. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Pleasant Hill battleground: humans vs. ground squirrels," 8 July 2019 Enjoy buffalo sweetbreads with bleu cheese mousse; burgers with garlic cheddar fondue; beef fat popovers; and a full New England clam bake. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Oyster Club and The Emory set to open, plus a Sycamore pop-up at Tasting Counter," 25 July 2019 Farmers in eastern Thailand on Saturday celebrated the start of the sowing season by racing their buffaloes, whose usual duty is to plow the fields. Washington Post, "Thai farmers race their buffaloes in show of gratitude," 14 July 2019 The hall of mammals had sixteen permanent exhibits, which included buffalo, elk, white tail deer, raccoon, badger, red wolf, coyotes and many others. Dallas News, "Is the Dallas Museum of Natural History at Fair Park open to the public? Curious Texas investigates," 21 June 2019 Black flies, known locally as gnats or buffalo gnats, are swarming in record numbers in Minnesota, part of the fallout from this year’s Midwest flooding. Kris Maher, WSJ, "The Black Fly Is Here for Your Blood—and Dignity," 16 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of buffalo

Noun

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1891, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for buffalo

Noun

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

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Statistics for buffalo

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for buffalo

The first known use of buffalo was in 1562

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More Definitions for buffalo

buffalo

noun
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on buffalo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with buffalo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for buffalo

Spanish Central: Translation of buffalo

Nglish: Translation of buffalo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buffalo for Arabic Speakers

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