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 Strategists like Hadrian and Augustus put most of their efforts into lining up buffer states. Christopher Tayler, Harper's Magazine, 18 Dec. 2023 Like Belarus, Ukraine does not only hold geopolitical significance as a buffer state between East and West but is regarded as a major cultural and historical ally of Russia – more so than other post-Soviet nations whose heritage and geography are further removed from the power center of Moscow. Katharina Buchholz, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 The country has long existed as a buffer state — spending 700 years as part of Sweden before being retched away by the Russian Empire in 1809. Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2022 Lukashenko has led the former Soviet republic that Moscow sees as a buffer state to the West since 1994 and strengthened ties with Moscow during mass protests that erupted in 2020 as the West imposed sanctions. NBC News, 18 Jan. 2022 By these means, Ukraine would become a neutral buffer state. Noah Millman, The Week, 9 Jan. 2022 In Putin’s worldview of a Russia threatened by an expanding and aggressive NATO, Belarus is the last remaining friendly buffer state between his country and the West. BostonGlobe.com, 26 May 2021 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, 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, 13 Feb. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'buffer state.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of buffer state was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near buffer state

Cite this Entry

“Buffer state.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buffer%20state. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

buffer state

: a small neutral state lying between two larger rival powers
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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