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buff1

[buhf] /bʌf/
noun
1.
a soft, thick, light-yellow leather with a napped surface, originally made from buffalo skin but later also from other skins, used for making belts, pouches, etc.
2.
a brownish-yellow color; tan.
4.
a devotee or well-informed student of some activity or subject:
Civil War buffs avidly read the new biography of Grant.
5.
Informal. the bare skin:
in the buff.
6.
Also called buffcoat. a thick, short coat of buffalo leather, worn especially by English soldiers and American colonists in the 17th century.
7.
Informal. a buffalo.
adjective
8.
having the color of buff.
9.
made of buff leather.
10.
Slang. physically attractive; muscular.
verb (used with object)
11.
to clean or polish (metal) or give a grainless finish of high luster to (plated surfaces) with or as if with a buff stick or buff wheel.
12.
to polish or shine, especially with a buffer:
to buff shoes.
13.
to dye or stain in a buff color.
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; 1900-05 for def 4; earlier buffe wild ox, back formation from buffle < Middle French < Late Latin būfalus; see buffalo; (def 4) originally a person enthusiastic about firefighting and firefighters, allegedly after the buff uniforms once worn by volunteer firefighters in New York City
Related forms
buffability, noun
buffable, adjective
Synonyms
10. burnish, shine.

buff2

[buhf] /bʌf/
verb (used with object)
1.
to reduce or deaden the force of; act as a buffer.
noun
2.
Chiefly British Dialect. a blow; slap.
Origin
1375-1425; late Middle English buffe, back formation from buffet1

buff3

[buhf] /bʌf/
noun
1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for buff
  • Soft, sandy buff with a long pointed tail bordered with white.
  • Grizzled gray or orangish gray above, with buff underparts.
  • He began hallucinating and, for reasons unknown, publicly parading around in the buff.
  • They can make actors buff by working out for a few months before filming.
  • Others label him a dreamer, or worse, a pyramid buff with loony ideas.
  • buff away the dried cleanser by moving your fingers in a gentle circular motion.
  • The dried paste exfoliates your skin as you buff it away.
  • The stands of pine trees are dark green, the prairies are dark buff.
  • If you're a movie buff, this could make watching films super cool as long as the sets perform well.
  • She became a dinosaur buff, but as so often happens, with adulthood her interests drifted in other directions.
British Dictionary definitions for buff

buff1

/bʌf/
noun
1.
  1. a soft thick flexible undyed leather made chiefly from the skins of buffalo, oxen, and elk
  2. (as modifier) a buff coat
2.
  1. a dull yellow or yellowish-brown colour
  2. (as adjective) buff paint
3.
Also called buffer
  1. a cloth or pad of material used for polishing an object
  2. a flexible disc or wheel impregnated with a fine abrasive for polishing metals, etc, with a power tool
4.
(informal) one's bare skin (esp in the phrase in the buff)
verb
5.
to clean or polish (a metal, floor, shoes, etc) with a buff
6.
to remove the grain surface of (a leather)
Word Origin
C16: from Old French buffle, from Old Italian bufalo, from Late Latin būfalusbuffalo

buff2

/bʌf/
verb
1.
(transitive) to deaden the force of
noun
2.
(archaic) a blow or buffet (now only in the phrase blind man's buff)
Word Origin
C15: back formation from buffet²

buff3

/bʌf/
noun
1.
(informal) an expert on or devotee of a given subject a cheese buff
Word Origin
C20: originally US: an enthusiastic fire watcher, from the buff-coloured uniforms worn by volunteer firemen in New York City
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for buff
n.

1570s, buffe leather "leather made of buffalo hide," from Middle French buffle "buffalo" (15c., via Italian, from Latin bufalus; see buffalo (n.)).

The color term comes from the hue of buffalo hides (later ox hides). Association of "hide" and "skin" led c.1600 to in the buff. Buff-colored uniforms of New York City volunteer firefighters since 1820s led to meaning "enthusiast" (1903).

The Buffs are men and boys whose love of fires, fire-fighting and firemen is a predominant characteristic. [N.Y. "Sun," Feb. 4, 1903]

adj.

"well-built, hunky," 1980s, from buff (v.) "polish, make attractive."

v.

"to polish, make attractive," 1885, in reference to the treatment of buff leather or else to the use of buff cloth in polishing metals, from buff (n.). Related: Buffed; buffing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for buff

buff 1

noun

A devotee or enthusiast; hobbyist; fan, nut: I like to think I'm a people buff

[originally fire buff, because New York City volunteer firefighters about 1820 wore buff-colored, light brownish yellow coats; transferred to persons who like to watch fires, then to enthusiasts in general]


buff 2

adjective

Naked

Related Terms

in the buff

[1604+; probably fr the pale yellowish color of the leather called buff, likened to skin]


buff 3

adjective

(also buffed, buffed out) Well-built; muscular; hunky: Looking mighty buff, by the way (1980s+ Teenagers)

verb

(also buff out) To do body-building; put on muscle; become brawnier: Fudgie wondered if Tweezer had buffed out in San Quentin (1980s+ Teenagers)

verb phrase

(also buff up) To be ingratiating and attentive, so as to keep on good terms: Gotta go. Gotta buff (1990s+ Hollywood)

[probably fr buff, ''polish, make attractive,'' a process originally done with a leather buff stick; the adj sense may be derived fr buffalo, as an image of strength]


buff 4

v,v phr

To make a patient's chart look good, esp in preparing him or her for discharge

[1970s+ Medical; fr buff, ''to polish'']


Buff

noun

An HH53 long-range rescue helicopter, called a ''big ugly fat fellow'' (1960s+ Air Force)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with buff
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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