\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

file, grind, hone, rasp, rub, sand

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

The movement to save Mount Vernon became the model for similar history buffs and private groups across the country. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Rethinking the modern house museum," 12 Oct. 2018 Let this be a lesson to anyone planning to do some baking in the buff. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "Nude man sets house on fire trying to bake cookies on George Foreman Grill," 13 Sep. 2018 Benson goes on to trace the film’s production, reception and legacy over 450 pages — a gold mine for movie buffs. Hal Boedeker, OrlandoSentinel.com, "'2001': Kubrick's enduring gamble," 3 July 2018 In addition to being an American history buff, Mr. Middelton enjoyed writing poetry and was an accomplished watercolor artist who liked painting landscapes and towns. Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, "James W. 'Bill' Middelton, former bank president and investment banker, dies," 13 July 2018 Over the three-day conference, engineers, business buffs, urban planners, government officials, and transportation researchers grappled with how to tell the public that its wonder drug of a transportation solution will have its limitations. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Home From the Honeymoon, the Self-Driving Car Industry Faces Reality," 13 July 2018 This may be the first cartoon in history designed for this particular overlap of audiences: military buffs and the very, very young. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "A War Dog Salutes in ‘Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero’," 12 Apr. 2018 Mingle with other film buffs, talk about movies, but try not to get burnt out too quickly. Trevor Fraser, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Florida Film Festival: April 6," 6 Apr. 2018 Black-capped chickadee The black-capped chickadee has gray coloring on its back and wings, and a buff-colored chest and belly. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "What’s that bird call in your backyard? Here’s a brief primer," 4 Apr. 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

Benjamin Ray sits at one of these tables, meticulously buffing a diamond and white gold bracelet. Emily Selter, Town & Country, "Meet the Man Who Took Care of Elizabeth Taylor's Jewels," 21 May 2015 Once your nails are buffed to smoothness, apply a base coat. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "How to Fix a Broken Nail — and Grow 'Em Back Stronger," 20 Sep. 2018 Initially, Storey buffed the Beach Lip & Cheek Stick in Ibiza (a bronze) onto the apples of Ellis Ross' cheeks followed by the same stick in Formentera (a berry). Devon Abelman, Allure, "Tracee Ellis Ross Matched Her Lipstick to Her Fuchsia Dress for the Emmy Awards 2018," 17 Sep. 2018 The restorative slurp juice has been buffed, while the health of all material walls has been increased. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fortnite celebrates its first birthday with mini-games, cake, and more," 24 July 2018 Chris, again in his standard black trousers, silk tie, and buffed shoes, demonstrated laying the table by first measuring the exact middle for the centerpiece, around which everything else would be arranged. Jonathan Reynolds, Town & Country, "At Your Service," 11 July 2014 The tester came with 21-inch five-spoke wheels ($1,000 extra) to buff the profile. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "Mercedes-AMG's first compact performance crossover takes a bite out of competition," 2 Aug. 2017 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

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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Statistics for buff

Last Updated

8 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on buff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with buff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for buff

Spanish Central: Translation of buff

Nglish: Translation of buff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buff for Arabic Speakers

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).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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