buffet

1 of 4

noun (1)

buf·​fet ˈbə-fət How to pronounce buffet (audio)
1
: a blow especially with the hand
2
: something that strikes with telling force

buffet

2 of 4

verb

buf·​fet ˈbə-fət How to pronounce buffet (audio)
buffeted; buffeting; buffets

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

buffet

3 of 4

noun (2)

buf·​fet (ˌ)bə-ˈfā How to pronounce buffet (audio)
bü-ˈfā,
British especially
ˈbü-ˌfā How to pronounce buffet (audio)
plural buffets
1
furniture : sideboard sense 1
2
a
: 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

buffet

4 of 4

adjective

buf·​fet (ˌ)bə-ˈfā How to pronounce buffet (audio)
bü-ˈfā,
British especially
ˈbü-ˌfā How to pronounce buffet (audio)
: served informally especially as a buffet (see buffet entry 3 sense 2c)
a buffet meal
buffet luncheons

Examples of buffet in a Sentence

Verb The strong winds buffeted the ship. fierce winds buffeted the small sailboat
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
General admission is $5 but VIP admission for $35 includes a buffet on either Fleetwood's Rooftop, the Skydeck or the Coop. Cruise on Lake Erie aboard the Glass City Pear from 12:45-4:45 p.m. to view the eclipse for $49 a person. Amy Huschka, Detroit Free Press, 8 Apr. 2024 Indirect travel spending covers the expenses of those businesses, such as sheets and towels or the ingredients for the breakfast buffet. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 5 Apr. 2024 Some buffets jack up their prices on weekends or charge customers for uneaten food. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 Kegs & eggs breakfast buffet, green beer, Jameson shot specials, live music Saturday and DJ on Sunday. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 13 Mar. 2024 Children under the age of 3 can eat for free at buffet and family-style venues. Eve Chen, USA TODAY, 4 Mar. 2024 Serve on your buffet on card night and enjoy sipping while playing rounds of bridge with friends. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 28 Mar. 2024 In addition to a stellar breakfast buffet and world-class dinner menu, Friday nights bring the opportunity to attend the weekly asado, a lively event that pairs top-tier steak with spectacular tango performances—and that’s far from the only activity that’s available for booking across the property. Jared Ranahan, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 The Farmhouse Restaurant at Fair Oaks Farms A special Easter brunch buffet, with multiple sittings, features French toast, a carving station with prime rib, ham, Atlantic salmon and omelets. The Indianapolis Star, 27 Mar. 2024
Verb
Diageo has already felt the chill of headwinds buffeting the wider luxury sector. Angus MacKinnon, CNN, 13 Apr. 2024 Debris — thick branches, leaves and dirt — lined the streets of the Curtis Park neighborhood after powerful winds buffeted the capital region for more than eight hours Sunday. Ishani Desai, Sacramento Bee, 5 Feb. 2024 The crosswinds also were strong at San Diego International Airport, buffeting commercial jets throughout the morning. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Feb. 2024 The story is a familiar one — a young immigrant fetches up in New York to seek his fortune, only to be buffeted by a bumptious city and cut to the quick by its competitive edge — but Torres reshapes it into something simultaneously more fantastical and far more real. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 13 Mar. 2024 The election interference case in Georgia against former President Donald Trump has been buffeted by an effort to disqualify Fani Willis, the main prosecutor, over her romantic relationship with a colleague. Richard Fausset, New York Times, 11 Mar. 2024 The strong winds that have buffeted Northwest Arkansas much of the last three days are supposed to calm down and be in the high single digits out of the north with a temperature of about 65 degrees by game time. Tom Murphy, arkansasonline.com, 5 Mar. 2024 Households have been buffeted by high energy prices for two years and the political parties are keen not to add to that burden. Sverre Alvik, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 Surprise changes in policy have buffeted China’s private sector. Lionel Lim, Fortune Asia, 5 Mar. 2024
Adjective
Customers can expect to see non-buffet-style food options, and social distancing will likely require a reduction in the number of people allowed in the usually crowded lounges. Julian Kheel, CNN Underscored, 1 June 2020

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

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

Verb

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

adjective derivative of buffet entry 3

First Known Use

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

Noun (2)

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1898, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near buffet

Cite this Entry

“Buffet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buffet. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

buffet

1 of 3 noun
buf·​fet ˈbəf-ət How to pronounce buffet (audio)
: a blow especially with the hand

buffet

2 of 3 verb
: to pound repeatedly : batter

buffet

3 of 3 noun
buf·​fet (ˌ)bə-ˈfā How to pronounce buffet (audio) bü-ˈfā How to pronounce buffet (audio)
ˈbü-ˌfā
1
2
: a meal set out on a sideboard, table, or countertop for guests to serve themselves
Etymology

Noun

Middle English buffet "a blow with the hand," derived from early French buffe "a blow"

Noun

French

More from Merriam-Webster on buffet

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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