buf·​foon (ˌ)bə-ˈfün How to pronounce buffoon (audio)
: a ludicrous figure : clown
: a gross and usually ill-educated or stupid person
acting like a ridiculous buffoon
buffoonish adjective

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 Where sitcom fathers have tended to be either impossibly perfect or buffoons, Flaherty imbued Harold Weir with comic dignity, no less dignified for being comic, nor comic for being dignified — an imperfect perfect father. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2024 These left-wing TV buffoons are just paper tigers staging a new version of their favorite hoax — a petulant insurrection. Armond White, National Review, 29 Mar. 2024 Ludwig brings a deeper humility to Ace this season, as his big, beefy buffoon of a character evolves into a gentle man. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 26 July 2023 There is no buffoon who can’t seem to complete the simplest of tasks. Shannon Carpenter, CNN, 5 Mar. 2024 Jeff is a buffoon, always setting off his shrill, tacky wife Susie (Susie Essman). TIME, 2 Feb. 2024 David Frye impersonated President Nixon as a buffoon. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Dec. 2023 The patriarch who should be a loving, wise guide is actually a buffoon. Vulture, 6 Dec. 2023 One kind of investor enjoys the fast results of the Next Big Thing, making the kind of concentrated bet that can make one look like a genius or a buffoon. Chris Taylor, wsj.com, 7 Nov. 2023

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

Word History


Middle French bouffon, from Old Italian buffone

First Known Use

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of buffoon was in 1584

Dictionary Entries Near buffoon

Cite this Entry

“Buffoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buffoon. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


buf·​foon (ˌ)bə-ˈfün How to pronounce buffoon (audio)
: a crude or stupid person

More from Merriam-Webster on buffoon

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