buf·​foon | \ (ˌ)bə-ˈfün How to pronounce buffoon (audio) \

Definition of buffoon

1 : a ludicrous figure : clown
2 : a gross and usually ill-educated or stupid person acting like a ridiculous buffoon

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Other Words from buffoon

buffoonish \ (ˌ)bə-​ˈfü-​nish How to pronounce buffoonish (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for buffoon


buffo, clown, harlequin, zany

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Examples of buffoon in a Sentence

Stop acting like a buffoon. the children at the birthday party giggled at the buffoon's silly tricks

Recent Examples on the Web

Waititi portrays Hitler as a benign buffoon, modernizing much of his character’s casual dialogue. Los Angeles Times, "Taika Waititi didn’t want ‘Jojo Rabbit’ to be a sad Holocaust film. So he added Adolf Hitler," 29 Aug. 2019 Grace is a street-smart, sarcastic smoker who has to outwit, outplay and outlast a bunch of privileged buffoons obsessed with status. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "‘Ready or Not’ is too snarky to be scary," 19 Aug. 2019 Tarantino makes Atkins and the other Mansons out to be buffoons. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Quentin Tarantino’s Ultimate Statement on Movie Violence," 2 Aug. 2019 The first season opens with the arrival of Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) seeking a cut of the family pie as Logan's health deteriorates, and ends with a traumatic car wreck in the midst of Shiv's wedding to ambitious buffoon Tom (Matthew Macfadyen). Carrie Wittmer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Succession Season 1: What You Need to Remember Before the New Season," 11 Aug. 2019 President Trump is no mere entertainer or buffoon, as many want to believe. The New York Review of Books, "Bernard E. Harcourt," 29 Nov. 2018 Though Spartacus was a hero, not a malignant buffoon. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Voices of Reason—and Unreason," 11 Oct. 2018 Many New Yorkers felt more comfortable seeing Mr. Sharpton as a buffoon or a race-baiter. Greg Howard, New York Times, "Al Sharpton, Reconsidered," 9 Mar. 2018 Initially, Miranda was a bit concerned about bringing Hamilton to the U.K., given it's portrayal of a former monarch as a Brit pop-singing buffoon. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How Prince Harry is Related to King George III in Hamilton," 29 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'buffoon.' 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 buffoon

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for buffoon

Middle French bouffon, from Old Italian buffone

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Dictionary Entries near buffoon

buff nor stye





buff stick

buff stop

Statistics for buffoon

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for buffoon

The first known use of buffoon was in 1584

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More Definitions for buffoon



English Language Learners Definition of buffoon

: a stupid or foolish person who tries to be funny


buf·​foon | \ bə-ˈfün How to pronounce buffoon (audio) \

Kids Definition of buffoon

: a foolish or stupid person

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More from Merriam-Webster on buffoon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with buffoon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for buffoon

Spanish Central: Translation of buffoon

Nglish: Translation of buffoon for Spanish Speakers

Comments on buffoon

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


concealment of treason or felony

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