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buffer1

[buhf-er] /ˈbʌf ər/
noun
1.
an apparatus at the end of a railroad car, railroad track, etc., for absorbing shock during coupling, collisions, etc.
2.
any device, material, or apparatus used as a shield, cushion, or bumper, especially on machinery.
3.
any intermediate or intervening shield or device reducing the danger of interaction between two machines, chemicals, electronic components, etc.
4.
a person or thing that shields and protects against annoyance, harm, hostile forces, etc., or that lessens the impact of a shock or reversal.
5.
any reserve moneys, negotiable securities, legal procedures, etc., that protect a person, organization, or country against financial ruin.
7.
Ecology. an animal population that becomes the prey of a predator that usually feeds on a different species.
8.
Computers. a storage device for temporarily holding data until the computer is ready to receive or process the data, as when a receiving unit has an operating speed lower than that of the unit feeding data to it.
9.
Electronics. a circuit with a single output activated by one or more of several inputs.
10.
Chemistry.
  1. any substance or mixture of compounds that, added to a solution, is capable of neutralizing both acids and bases without appreciably changing the original acidity or alkalinity of the solution.
  2. Also called buffer solution. a solution containing such a substance.
verb (used with object)
11.
Chemistry. to treat with a buffer.
12.
to cushion, shield, or protect.
13.
to lessen the adverse effect of; ease:
The drug buffered his pain.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35; buff2 + -er1
Related forms
unbuffered, adjective

buffer2

[buhf-er] /ˈbʌf ər/
noun
1.
a device for polishing or buffing, as a buff stick or buff wheel.
2.
a worker who uses such a device.
Origin
1850-55; buff1 + -er1

buffer3

[buhf-er] /ˈbʌf ər/
noun, British Slang.
1.
a foolish or incompetent person.
2.
a fellow; man.
3.
a chief boatswain's mate in the British navy.
Origin
1680-90; origin uncertain

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a soft, thick, light-yellow leather with a napped surface, originally made from buffalo skin but later also from other skins, used for making belts, pouches, etc.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
1545-55; 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for buffer
  • He also said that the noise barriers designed to help buffer the sounds of the race cars were inadequate.
  • Colleges are increasingly turning to students, staff, and faculty to buffer their losses.
  • In short, it's a buffer against uncertainty and volatility, and a sensible one at that.
  • But as with many things in this world, there's a catch to the ocean buffer.
  • The device picks up the high frequency echolocation calls of nearby bats and runs them through a buffer to make them audible.
  • buffer overflows and race conditions are examples of the first kind of bug.
  • The dearth of stock helped stoke initial demand and buffer the stock price.
  • Higher social status seems to be a buffer against many sources of stress.
  • Then, it was about building a precautionary savings buffer.
  • Wetlands act as a natural buffer protecting such industrial systems from hurricanes and other storms.
British Dictionary definitions for buffer

buffer1

/ˈbʌfə/
noun
1.
one of a pair of spring-loaded steel pads attached at both ends of railway vehicles and at the end of a railway track to reduce shock due to contact
2.
a person or thing that lessens shock or protects from damaging impact, circumstances, etc
3.
(chem)
  1. an ionic compound, usually a salt of a weak acid or base, added to a solution to resist changes in its acidity or alkalinity and thus stabilize its pH
  2. Also called buffer solution. a solution containing such a compound
4.
(computing) a memory device for temporarily storing data
5.
(electronics) an isolating circuit used to minimize the reaction between a driving and a driven circuit
6.
short for buffer state
7.
(informal) hit the buffers, to finish or be stopped, esp unexpectedly
verb (transitive)
8.
to insulate against or protect from shock; cushion
9.
(chem) to add a buffer to (a solution)
Word Origin
C19: from buff²

buffer2

/ˈbʌfə/
noun
1.
any device used to shine, polish, etc; buff
2.
a person who uses such a device

buffer3

/ˈbʌfə/
noun
1.
(Brit, informal, offensive) a stupid or bumbling man (esp in the phrase old buffer)
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from Middle English buffer stammerer

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 buffer
buff
1570s, buffe leather, from M.Fr. buffle "buffalo" (15c., via It. from L. bufalus; see see buffalo). 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, and use of buff or suede to polish metal led to sense of verb "to polish with a buff" (1885). Related: Buffed; buffing. Buff-colored uniforms of N.Y.C. 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. meaning "well-built, hunky" is from 1980s, from sense "polish, make attractive."
buffer
1835, from obsolete verb buff "make a dull sound when struck" (mid-16c.), from O.Fr. buffe "a blow;" hence "something that absorbs a blow."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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buffer in Medicine

buffer buff·er (bŭf'ər)
n.
A substance that minimizes change in the acidity of a solution when an acid or base is added to the solution. v. buff·ered, buff·er·ing, buff·ers
To treat a solution with a buffer.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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buffer in Science
buffer
  (bŭf'ər)   
  1. Chemistry A substance that prevents change in the acidity of a solution when an acid or base is added to the solution or when the solution is diluted. Buffers are used to make solutions of known pH, especially for instrument calibration purposes. Natural buffers also exist in living organisms, where biochemical reactions are very sensitive to changes in pH.

  2. Computer Science A device or an area of a computer that temporarily stores data that is being transferred between two machines that process data at different rates, such as a computer and a printer.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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buffer in Culture

buffer definition


In chemistry, the components of a solution that can neutralize either an acid or a base and thus maintain a constant pH.

Note: Buffers are often used in medications designed to decrease acidity in the stomach.
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 buffer

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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buffer in Technology


1. An area of memory used for storing messages. Typically, a buffer will have other attributes such as an input pointer (where new data will be written into the buffer), and output pointer (where the next item will be read from) and/or a count of the space used or free. Buffers are used to decouple processes so that the reader and writer may operate at different speeds or on different sized blocks of data.
There are many different algorithms for using buffers, e.g. first-in first-out (FIFO or shelf), last-in first-out (LIFO or stack), double buffering (allowing one buffer to be read while the other is being written), cyclic buffer (reading or writing past the end wraps around to the beginning).
2. An electronic device to provide compatibility between two signals, e.g. changing voltage levels or current capability.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Idioms and Phrases with buffer
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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