1 of 3


: a garment (such as a uniform) made of buff leather
: the state of being nude
sunbathing in the buff
: a moderate orange yellow
: a light to moderate yellow
: a device having a soft absorbent surface (as of cloth) by which polishing material is applied
[earlier buff an enthusiast about going to fires; perhaps from the buff overcoats worn by volunteer firefighters in New York City about 1820] : fan, enthusiast


2 of 3


: of the color buff
or buffed : having a physique enhanced by bodybuilding exercises


3 of 3


buffed; buffing; buffs

transitive verb

: polish, shine
waxed and buffed the floor
: to give a velvety surface to (leather)

Example Sentences

Noun he's such a film buff that he owns over 3,000 movies protected by a fully enclosed backyard, the couple would frequently sunbathe in the buff Adjective He's at the gym every day trying to get buff. the buff body of an athlete Verb The floors are waxed and buffed every year. She is going to the salon to get her nails buffed. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Perfect for the gym buff or health nut who is always on the go, this protein-rich creamer is a great way to start your day without sacrificing protein intake. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 28 Feb. 2023 PourMore offers eight different clubs, and its whiskeys cater to everyone from the Scotch novice to the bourbon buff. Kate Dingwall, PEOPLE.com, 29 June 2022 As a history buff, the Marstons Mills resident was brimming with excitement at the find and soon brought it to the Historical Society of Santuit & Cotuit to learn more. Shannon Larson, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Feb. 2023 Fittingly, Chris, a history buff, named his property Peacefield, inspired by the name John Adams gave his historic Massachusetts home in the 1700s. Rachel Hardage Barrett, Country Living, 16 Aug. 2022 Hidden treasure from the past means secrets, and this show is full of enough intrigue to dazzle any history buff. Alamin Yohannes, EW.com, 15 July 2022 As an American history buff, the Ethiopian-Irish actor isn’t surprised that two of her favorite and most celebrated roles deal with the history of race in America. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Jan. 2022 In general, kinetic weapons are getting a damage buff, which could elevate exotics like Witherhoard, Izanagi's, Sweet Business, Huckleberry or even Bastion. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 6 Feb. 2023 Karla was actually smart to once again realize a merge is not a merge these days on Survivor, and that there would be at least one more hoop to jump through before getting her buff. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 27 Oct. 2022
Amazon bought IMDb in 1998 and supercharged the reach of its content, but its film-buff knowledge-production skunkworks remained largely untouched. IMDb’s emergence almost cost Gary Brumburgh a decade of his life. WIRED, 21 Feb. 2023 With half-naked ultra-buff men singing and performing massive choreographed dance sequences, Chippendales has, from its beginning, been a cultural phenomenon. Carson Burton, Variety, 20 Sep. 2022 Ken in his ab-baring, fringed green jacket, chilling with his equally buff pals in Barbie’s all-pink-everything dream universe. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 16 Dec. 2022 Efron, famed High School Musical alum, in an indie movie by a director known for exploring the psychological interiority of characters — and the minds in question are three buff brothers? Jason P. Frank, Vulture, 30 Nov. 2022 Then, tap or brush off any excess powder (many kits include a buff brush) and repeat the process to ensure an even coat. Tatjana Freund, ELLE, 22 Dec. 2022 Let your mystery buff play detective with this fun game night box. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 24 Nov. 2022 The buff four-banger is hooked to a nine-speed automatic in place of the 2022 model's seven-speed. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, 21 Nov. 2022 Turns out the young man in the pool with whom Portia locked eyes that night was Quentin’s nephew, Jack, a buff English lad brimming with naïve confidence. Donna Bowman, Chron, 20 Nov. 2022
Nudge off any stuck-on bits with your fingernail and buff the screen dry. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, 27 Feb. 2023 Make sure your nails are dry and buff each one so the press-ons have a smooth surface to adhere to. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 8 Mar. 2023 Dip a microfiber cloth into a sudsy mix of dish soap and water and use it to buff the area. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, 16 Dec. 2022 Then buff any excess oil and set the pan upside-down in the oven, with aluminum foil or a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drips. Julie Harans, Bon Appétit, 25 Jan. 2023 Engulf the battlefield in flames to buff yourself, or pull targets into a swirling storm of ice. PCMAG, 18 Jan. 2023 For a softer effect, buff the line out with a similar-colored shadow. Katie Intner, Harper's BAZAAR, 22 July 2022 Wipe out the inside and buff off any excess oil with a dishcloth or a paper towel, then store in a dry place. Julie Harans, Bon Appétit, 18 Jan. 2023 Luckily, Chanel’s tool comes with two retractable brush options (a flat and rounded end) to buff in cream or powders. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 22 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History



Middle French buffle wild ox, from Old Italian bufalo

First Known Use


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of buff was in 1570

Dictionary Entries Near buff

Cite this Entry

“Buff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buff. Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 noun
: an orange yellow
: a device with a soft absorbent surface (as of cloth) for applying polishing material
: fan entry 3, enthusiast
a tennis buff


2 of 3 adjective
: of the color buff


3 of 3 verb
: to polish with or as if with a buff

More from Merriam-Webster on buff

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