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

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 Wolff’s book paints Trump as a buffoon who doesn’t read, can’t settle on political priorities and is unable to manage a warring cast of advisers who spend their days squabbling and undermining each other and the president. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "Trump lawyer seeks to block insider book on White House," 4 Jan. 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

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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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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).


by force of circumstances

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