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[buhz-er] /ˈbʌz ər/
a person or thing that buzzes.
a signaling apparatus similar to an electric bell but without hammer or gong, producing a buzzing sound by the vibration of an armature.
Origin of buzzer
1600-10; buzz1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for buzzer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Just as he removed his last garment, the buzzer sounded again.

    Bizarre Lawton Mackall
  • Jim heard a buzzer and then the voice of a clerk, "Yes, sir."

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • Pretty soon the buzzer on the door sounded, and I opened it to find a messenger-boy with a large brown paper parcel.

    The Silent Bullet Arthur B. Reeve
  • A buzzer was ringing in the turret, and I plunged back for it.

    Wandl the Invader Raymond King Cummings
  • The buzzer continued its heavy droning, and the telephone started up again.

    Bizarre Lawton Mackall
British Dictionary definitions for buzzer


a person or thing that buzzes
a device that produces a buzzing sound, esp one similar to an electric bell without a hammer or gong
(NZ) a wood planing machine
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 buzzer

c.1600, "buzzing insect," agent noun from buzz (v.). In reference to mechanical devices that buzz, from 1870 (steam-powered at first; electric mechanisms so called from 1884).

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



A police or other law-enforcement badge: I brought out the 1928 deputy sheriff's star I carried to show people who wanted to see a buzzer (1914+)

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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