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


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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 While some buffoon is prattling at length, its lips moving weirdly on a low-polygon face, this is usually the moment that your feet hurt or that your headset's face cushion itches. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Half-Life: Alyx review: The greatest VR adventure game yet—and then some," 23 Mar. 2020 Mr Johnson was frequently presented as a jovial figure—a clown or Bertie Wooster-style buffoon. The Economist, "The four faces of Boris Johnson," 2 Nov. 2019 Howard is a buffoon, but a remarkably compelling one, who commands sympathy even as his gambling addiction and his refusal to compromise draws him into darker and darker places. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Gritty, Spellbinding Tragedy of Uncut Gems," 12 Dec. 2019 And, yet, these dreamers and buffoons stayed at their post. Richard Brady, National Review, "Valley of the Shadow," 31 Aug. 2019 Sims: Song Kang-ho [who stars as the Kim father] often plays a sort of noble buffoon for you, an everyman, someone the audience can sympathize with. David Sims, The Atlantic, "How Bong Joon-ho Invented the Weird World of Parasite," 15 Oct. 2019 Grace is that film’s Veronica in a wedding dress: a street-smart, sarcastic smoker who has to outwit, outplay and outlast a bunch of privileged buffoons obsessed with status. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Ready or Not’ sacrifices horror for irony and laughs to skewer the 1 percent," 19 Aug. 2019 Instead, Johnson conjures a coterie of modern, rich buffoons—all of them related to the successful crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), who is found stabbed on the night of his 85th birthday. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Knives Out Is No Ordinary Murder Mystery," 27 Nov. 2019 Baritone Alessandro Corbelli ingeniously mocked his character, Dr. Bartolo, who was every inch a buffoon in this rendering. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Lyric Opera review: A wickedly funny ‘Barber of Seville’ begins season," 29 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for buffoon

Time Traveler

The first known use of buffoon was in 1584

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Statistics for buffoon

Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Buffoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buffoon. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for buffoon


How to pronounce buffoon (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for buffoon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with buffoon

Spanish Central: Translation of buffoon

Nglish: Translation of buffoon for Spanish Speakers

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