buffer state


Definition of buffer state

: a usually neutral state lying between two larger potentially rival powers

Examples of buffer state in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite its relatively small population size, Belarus matters to Russia as a buffer state against NATO and a conduit for Russian exports of oil and gas. Yuras Karmanau, The Christian Science Monitor, "Belarus president takes oath of office in surprise ceremony," 23 Sep. 2020 De Groesbeeck was a member of a noble family connected to the powerful Prince-Bishopric of Liège, once an affluent buffer state between the Holy Roman Empire and the Low Countries. WSJ, "A Belgian Castle With a Heroic Past," 13 Feb. 2019 China is on board since such a deal would preserve the North as a buffer state and ease U.S. sanctions on Chinese companies that do business with the North. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Moon Over Singapore," 28 May 2018 Syria’s future would be determined by the Arabs, Iran would accept Iraq as a neutral buffer state between it and the Sunni Arab world, and an uneasy peace would prevail. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Trump, Iran and American Power," 14 May 2018 For him, the matter goes beyond Russia’s historic paranoid need for defense-in-depth buffer states to shield its core centers. Jerry Hendrix, National Review, "There Is No NATO without the North Atlantic," 29 Jan. 2018 But Beijing is likely to resist that outcome, preferring to keep the North as a buffer state under its control. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Options for Removing Kim Jong Un," 4 Sep. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of buffer state

1883, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about buffer state

Time Traveler for buffer state

Time Traveler

The first known use of buffer state was in 1883

See more words from the same year

Statistics for buffer state

Cite this Entry

“Buffer state.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buffer%20state. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for buffer state

buffer state


English Language Learners Definition of buffer state

: a country that is located between two larger countries that often fight with each other

Comments on buffer state

What made you want to look up buffer state? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!