buf·​foon | \(ˌ)bə-ˈfün \

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 \-​ˈfü-​nish \ 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

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 But a lot of dads are portrayed as being buffoons in the media. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "Single father known as 'The Hair Dad' uses viral fame to help other dads and daughters," 19 June 2018 But a lot of dads are portrayed as being buffoons in the media. Sonja Haller, ajc, "‘The Hair Dad’ quits job to teach other fathers to style daughters’ hair," 20 June 2018 Roman is a buffoon of a character whose only asset is his capacity for snappy comebacks. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Filthy Rich: The Power Plays of Succession," 2 June 2018 Bubba Dudley has transformed, from his beginning in ECW as a stuttering buffoon, into one of the most genuine heels in the business as Bully Ray. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "Week in Wrestling: Bully Ray’s Throwback Character; Carmella on Her SmackDown Women’s Title," 16 May 2018 Baldwin made Jack into a sly fox and not a Colbert-like buffoon, which upped the stakes on the show’s ongoing political comedy. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "These are TV’s 10 best comic performances in the past 10 years," 26 Apr. 2018 Some lawmakers came off sounding like buffoons, and the glib verdict rendered Zuckerberg the winner. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Facebook Can't Fix this Problem Alone," 20 Apr. 2018 There is nothing about trade with Canada that threatens national security, and claims to the contrary make Mr. Trump look like a buffoon. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Is Canada a National Security Risk?," 4 Mar. 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

25 Nov 2018

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 \

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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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