\ ˈbəf \

Definition of buff 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a garment (such as a uniform) made of buff leather

2 : the state of being nude sunbathing in the buff

3a : a moderate orange yellow

b : a light to moderate yellow

4 : a device having a soft absorbent surface (as of cloth) by which polishing material is applied

5 [ 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



Definition of buff (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of the color buff

2 or buffed : having a physique enhanced by bodybuilding exercises


buffed; buffing; buffs

Definition of buff (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : polish, shine waxed and buffed the floor

2 : to give a velvety surface to (leather)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for buff

Synonyms: Noun

addict, aficionado (also afficionado), bug, devotee, enthusiast, fan, fanatic, fancier, fiend, fool, freak, habitué (also habitue), head, hound, junkie (also junky), lover, maniac, maven (also mavin), nut, sucker

Synonyms: Verb

burnish, dress, furbish, gloss, grind, polish, rub, shine, smooth

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of buff in a Sentence


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


He's at the gym every day trying to get buff. the buff body of an athlete


The floors are waxed and buffed every year. She is going to the salon to get her nails buffed.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Daniel Strada was an inspirational fitness buff who made goofy YouTube videos and wrapped his mother in giant bear hugs. Michael Williams, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Lake Mary man was killed by a stray bullet — all because of a fight he had no part in," 12 July 2018 What are the hottest tickets this year? Broadway buffs and Colts fans rejoice: Here are eight great sports, music, fashion and film events. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what you need to know about Black Expo 2018," 11 July 2018 McKinsey’s team leader on the project was a popular partner, Vikas Sagar, a stylish, Porsche-driving fitness buff in his 40s, known for hugging colleagues when the spirit moved him and fiercely charting his own course. New York Times, "How McKinsey Lost Its Way in South Africa," 26 June 2018 History buffs and Francophiles get to nerd out in Paris à Table by Parisian writer/theater critic Eugène Briffault. Elaheh Nozari, Bon Appetit, "8 Non-Cookbook Food Books to Read This Summer," 11 June 2018 Tom and Anne LeBlanc, wearing George Washington University’s colors, buff and blue. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Congrats on the New College Job. What Will You Do With All Those Orange Ties?," 6 June 2018 While e-bikes are catching on with many aging Americans, some trail buffs and park bosses want to put the brakes on their use on the hundreds of miles of trails that have been traditionally designated as non-motorized. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Why electric bikes aren't always welcome on Michigan's trails," 29 May 2018 History buffs and city-strollers alike can admire everything from punchy-colored murals to the stately Gothic-style homes flanking Martin Luther King Drive, or the scattering of monuments dedicated to prominent African-American figures. Emma Krupp, RedEye Chicago, "Neighborhood guide: What to eat, drink and do in Bronzeville," 3 Apr. 2018 For hardcore fire buffs, there was nothing wrong with the old Los Angeles County Fire Museum. Mark Yost, WSJ, "A Museum to Spark New Interest," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Many animals compensate for puny muscles with speed, but muscles—even in the buffest bodybuilder—can only contract so fast. National Geographic, "Watch Spider Jaws Move as Quickly as World's Fastest Runner," 7 Apr. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Learning how to wax and buff your car properly can save you a bunch of money over time. Ben Murphy, Popular Mechanics, "How to Wax Your Car," 6 Feb. 2017 The other person suggested the damage could be buffed out, and asked if Lewis had been killed on impact. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "After killing black Leesville man in crash, white 18-year-old called him racial slur, police say," 3 June 2018 To achieve the 19-year-old starlet’s look, Kennedy began by sketching the shape of the eye with the coppery-brown colored ChanelPrecision Eye Definer in Brun-Cuivre, then buffing it out. Lesley Mckenzie, The Hollywood Reporter, "Amandla Stenberg’s MTV Awards Makeup Paid Homage to an Eighties Illustrator," 18 June 2018 At stake: Billions of dollars in beach-buffing funds, not to mention the tourist dollars attracted to Florida’s golden coast. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Widening beaches might bring more hazards, researchers say," 4 May 2018 More often, that A-list glow comes by way of body bronzers — plus a 24/7 glam squad that can rub and buff them to perfection. refinery29.com, "I Tried $292 Worth Of Body Bronzers — & Didn't Ruin All My Clothes," 29 May 2018 The star sprayed a small amount of the product on a paper towel and buffed at the lines. Jillian Ruffo, PEOPLE.com, "Ashley Graham Uses Windex to Fix Her Spray Tan Streaks," 29 May 2018 The win buys Steve Bieser’s team additional time to buff up its resume, which isn’t good enough to safely get into the NCAA Tournament. Alex Schiffer, kansascity, "Mizzou Monday: A Jontay Porter return? Jordan Barnett in the NBA and more | The Kansas City Star," 21 May 2018 Oribe dry texturizing spray, $48; birchbox.com For Polished, Glowy Skin This natural product is a gentle exfoliator, which buffs skin to be the perfect canvas for any makeup look. Alex Apatoff, PEOPLE.com, "How to Get Meghan Markle's Glowy Bridal Beauty Look," 19 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of buff


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for buff


Middle French buffle wild ox, from Old Italian bufalo

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Phrases Related to buff

buff up

in the buff

to the buff

Statistics for buff

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for buff

The first known use of buff was in 1570

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More Definitions for buff



English Language Learners Definition of buff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having a strong, muscular body or form



English Language Learners Definition of buff (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (a surface) smooth and shiny by rubbing it


\ ˈbəf \

Kids Definition of buff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pale orange yellow

2 : a stick or wheel with a soft surface for applying polish

3 : fan entry 3 a music buff


buffed; buffing

Kids Definition of buff (Entry 2 of 2)

: to polish with or as if with a buff

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Comments on buff

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


an open space surrounded by woods

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