noun (1)
buf·​fet | \ ˈbə-fət \

Definition of buffet

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a blow especially with the hand
2 : something that strikes with telling force


buf·​fet | \ ˈbə-fət \
buffeted; buffeting; buffets

Definition of buffet (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to strike sharply especially with the hand : cuff
2 : to strike repeatedly : batter the waves buffeted the shore
3 : to drive, force, move, or attack by or as if by repeated blows schools being buffeted by budget cuts

intransitive verb

: to make one's way especially under difficult conditions


noun (2)
buf·​fet | \ (ˌ)bə-ˈfā, bü-ˈfā, British especially ˈbü-ˌfā \
plural buffets

Definition of buffet (Entry 3 of 4)

1 furniture : sideboard sense 1
2a : a counter for refreshments went back to the buffet for a second helping
b chiefly British : a restaurant operated as a public convenience (as in a railway station)
c : a meal set out on a buffet or table for ready access and informal service a restaurant that offers a breakfast buffet
3 : an assortment of options or offerings : variety Once you're up there among the clouds, you'll have a buffet of skiing options.— Brad Wetzler


buf·​fet | \ (ˌ)bə-ˈfā, bü-ˈfā, British especially ˈbü-ˌfā \

Definition of buffet (Entry 4 of 4)

: served informally especially as a buffet (see buffet entry 3 sense 2c) a buffet meal buffet luncheons

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Examples of buffet in a Sentence


The strong winds buffeted the ship. fierce winds buffeted the small sailboat

First Known Use of buffet

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for buffet

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, diminutive of buffe blow


Middle English buffeten, verbal derivative of buffet buffet entry 1

Noun (2)

borrowed from French, going back to Old French, "stool, table, counter," of uncertain origin


adjective derivative of buffet entry 3

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Statistics for buffet

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for buffet

The first known use of buffet was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for buffet



English Language Learners Definition of buffet

: to hit (something) with great force many times


buf·​fet | \ ˈbə-fət \
buffeted; buffeting

Kids Definition of buffet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to pound repeatedly : batter Waves buffeted our little boat.


buf·​fet | \ ˌbə-ˈfā, bü-\

Kids Definition of buffet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a cabinet or set of shelves for the display of dishes and silver : sideboard
2 : a meal set out on a buffet or table from which people may serve themselves

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More from Merriam-Webster on buffet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with buffet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for buffet

Spanish Central: Translation of buffet

Nglish: Translation of buffet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buffet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about buffet

Comments on buffet

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


a complex dispute or argument

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