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[buh-foon] /bəˈfun/
a person who amuses others by tricks, jokes, odd gestures and postures, etc.
a person given to coarse or undignified joking.
Origin of buffoon
1540-50; earlier buffon < French < Italian buffone, equivalent to buff- (expressive base; compare buffa puff of breath, buffare to puff, puff up one's checks) + -one agent suffix ≪ Latin -ō, accusative -ōnem
Related forms
[buh-foo-nuh-ree] /bəˈfu nə ri/ (Show IPA),
buffoonish, adjective
1. jester, clown, fool. 2. boor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for buffoonery
  • Nonverbal show blends martial arts, gymnastics, and buffoonery.
  • The only buffoonery here is how dismissive diversity champs can be when they see an opinion other than their own.
  • But there is a sturdiness of character and stirring intensity of action, with a happy admixture of buffoonery, through it all.
  • But spare us the pathetic hyperbolic accusations and buffoonery.
  • In fact, such a cover of buffoonery serves him well.
  • Arenas can police this kind of obnoxious buffoonery much better than they do.
  • And people who think it should be a more respectful event will never accept that buffoonery has a place in the ceremony.
  • There is a limit to so-called comedy business projected through proximity with the dead, a limit to charnel-house buffoonery.
  • For if anything is more remarkable than the outrageous buffoonery of this team of cut-ups, it is their fabulous popularity.
  • There are also moments when the scenes are little more than buffoonery.
British Dictionary definitions for buffoonery


a person who amuses others by ridiculous or odd behaviour, jokes, etc
a foolish person
Derived Forms
buffoonery, noun
Word Origin
C16: from French bouffon, from Italian buffone, from Medieval Latin būfō, from Latin: toad
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 buffoonery

1620s; see buffoon + -ery.



1540s, "type of pantomime dance;" 1580s, "clown," from Middle French bouffon (16c.), from Italian buffone "jester," from buffa "joke, jest, pleasantry," from buffare "to puff out the cheeks," a comic gesture, of echoic origin. Also cf. -oon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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