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[buhf-uh-loh] /ˈbʌf əˌloʊ/
noun, plural buffaloes, buffalos (especially collectively) buffalo.
any of several large wild oxen of the family Bovidae.
a shuffling tap-dance step.
verb (used with object), buffaloed, buffaloing. Informal.
to puzzle or baffle; confuse; mystify:
He was buffaloed by the problem.
to impress or intimidate by a display of power, importance, etc.:
The older boys buffaloed him.
Origin of buffalo
1535-45, Americanism; earlier bufalo < Portuguese (now bufaro) < Late Latin būfalus, variant of Latin būbalus bubal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for buffaloed
Historical Examples
  • Seems funny to think of him having the biggest Indians buffaloed, but he's done it, and he's buffaloed the white folks, too.

    Mystery Ranch Arthur Chapman
  • But you-all slapped down the stuff in a stampede, sartin you had him buffaloed.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • The Big Four had us bluffed, bulldozed, buffaloed, licked to a whisper.

    Fore! Charles Emmett Van Loan
  • And since you are so fond of frankness, I will say that I think that Seaton has you buffaloed, as you call it.

    Skylark Three Edward Elmer Smith
  • I buffaloed the engineer while they took care of Daniels and Halliday, and then we pulled our freight.

    With Hoops of Steel Florence Finch Kelly
  • Maybe my turn will come, too, if I don't get buffaloed and stampede.

    The Song of the Wolf Frank Mayer
  • However, these which are reported over in this area have me buffaloed.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol Henry Harley Arnold
  • Felix said that Ruef would never go across the bay, as he had them all buffaloed.

  • When one is too great to be buffaloed he is free to the gun of any man he injures.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • The next ball was a swift incurve that broke so suddenly that it buffaloed Neale completely.

    Baseball Joe, Home Run King Lester Chadwick
British Dictionary definitions for buffaloed


noun (pl) -loes, -lo
Also called Cape buffalo. a member of the cattle tribe, Syncerus caffer, mostly found in game reserves in southern and eastern Africa and having upward-curving horns
short for water buffalo
(US & Canadian) Also called bison. a member of the cattle tribe, Bison bison, formerly widely distributed over the prairies of W North America but now confined to reserves and parks, with a massive head, shaggy forequarters, and a humped back related adjective bubaline
verb (transitive) (US & Canadian, informal)
(often passive) to confuse
to intimidate
Word Origin
C16: from Italian bufalo, from Late Latin būfalus, alteration of Latin būbalus; see bubal


a port in W New York State, at the E end of Lake Erie. Pop: 285 018 (2003 est)
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 buffaloed



1580s (earlier buffel, 1510s, from Middle French), from Portuguese bufalo "water buffalo," from Latin bufalus, variant of bubalus "wild ox," from Greek boubalos "buffalo," originally a kind of African antelope, later used of a type of domesticated ox in southern Asia and the Mediterranean lands, perhaps from bous "ox, cow" (see cow (n.)). Wrongly applied since 1630s to the American bison. Buffalo gnat is recorded from 1822.


"alarm, overawe," 1900, from buffalo (n.). Probably from the animals' tendency to mass panic. Related: Buffaloed; buffaloing.


city in western New York state, U.S., of disputed origin (there never were buffalo thereabouts), perhaps from the name of a native chief, or a corruption of French beau fleuve "beautiful river." Buffalo wings finger food so called because the recipe was invented in Buffalo (1964, at Frank & Teressa's Anchor Bar on Main Street).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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buffaloed in Culture

Buffalo definition

City in western New York, on Lake Erie and the Niagara River.

Note: Niagara Falls is northwest of Buffalo.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for buffaloed



Baffled; puzzled: I didn't think Pierre would be buffaloed by it (1870+)



  1. A heavy or fat woman; cow (1950s+)
  2. A black person •This sense reflects that black troopers were called buffalo soldiers by Native Americans (1870s+)


  1. To confuse someone purposely, esp in order to cheat or dupe (1870+)
  2. To intimidate; cow; bulldoze (1890+)
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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