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[buhz] /bʌz/
a low, vibrating, humming sound, as of bees, machinery, or people talking.
a rumor or report.
Informal. a phone call:
When I find out, I'll give you a buzz.
  1. a feeling of intense enthusiasm, excitement, or exhilaration:
    I got a terrific buzz from those Pacific sunsets.
  2. a feeling of slight intoxication.
verb (used without object)
to make a low, vibrating, humming sound.
to speak or murmur with such a sound.
to be filled with the sound of buzzing or whispering:
The room buzzed.
to whisper; gossip:
Everyone is buzzing about the scandal.
to move busily from place to place.
Slang. to go; leave (usually followed by off or along):
I'll buzz along now. Tell him to buzz off and leave me alone.
verb (used with object)
to make a buzzing sound with:
The fly buzzed its wings.
to tell or spread (a rumor, gossip, etc.) secretively.
to signal or summon with a buzzer:
He buzzed his secretary.
Informal. to make a phone call to.
  1. to fly a plane very low over:
    to buzz a field.
  2. to signal or greet (someone) by flying a plane low and slowing the motor spasmodically.
have / get a buzz on, Slang. to be slightly intoxicated:
After a few beers they all had a buzz on.
1350-1400; Middle English busse; imitative
Related forms
buzzingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for buzzing
  • These worker bees keep the development hive buzzing with high-volume activity.
  • Bloodstains on the flies buzzing around the severed heads in the painting noted above are an example.
  • Nothing broke the silence except the buzzing of bees in the distance.
  • If you see a virtual fly buzzing around, that fly will actually sound as though it's coming from the right direction.
  • Actuate all sorts of buzzing and beeping things as you walk by.
  • Then they feel it: the faintest buzzing at their fingertips.
  • He looked around his yard for a candidate, but the only small birds in sight were the hummingbirds buzzing at his feeders.
  • Behind the chant were the slightest sounds, tiny wind chimes, tiny buzzing.
  • In a meeting at work, they frequently have it out on the table, buzzing and vibrating and generally irritating everyone else.
  • The rev counter is buzzing, but the speedometer's needle is barely moving.
British Dictionary definitions for buzzing


a rapidly vibrating humming sound, as that of a prolonged z or of a bee in flight
a low sound, as of many voices in conversation
a rumour; report; gossip
(informal) a telephone call I'll give you a buzz
  1. a pleasant sensation, as from a drug such as cannabis
  2. a sense of excitement; kick
(intransitive) to make a vibrating sound like that of a prolonged z
(intransitive) to talk or gossip with an air of excitement or urgency the town buzzed with the news
(transitive) to utter or spread (a rumour)
(intransitive) often foll by about. to move around quickly and busily; bustle
(transitive) to signal or summon with a buzzer
(transitive) (informal) to call by telephone
(transitive) (informal)
  1. to fly an aircraft very low over (an object) to buzz a ship
  2. to fly an aircraft very close to or across the path of (another aircraft), esp to warn or intimidate
(transitive) (esp of insects) to make a buzzing sound with (wings, etc)
See also buzz in
Derived Forms
buzzing, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C16: of imitative origin
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 buzzing
late 15c., echoic of bees and other insects. Aviation sense of "fly low and close" is 1941. Noun meaning "a busy rumor" is attested from c.1600; that of "humming sound" is from 1640s. Meaning "pleasant sense of intoxication" first recorded 1935. The game of counting off, with 7 or multiples of it replaced by buzz is attested from 1864. Buzz off (1914) originally meant "to ring off on the telephone."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for buzzing


  1. A telephone call: I think I'll give the Guided Child abuzz (1910+)
  2. ubject of talk; gossip; rumor: What's the buzz, cuz? (1605+)
  3. feeling or surge of pleasure, esp a pleasant sense of intoxication; high: After two Scotches he got a nice buzz (1935+)
  4. A police squad car (1950s+ Teenagers)
  1. To call someone on the telephone; ring: Why not buzz Eddy for the brawl? (1910+)
  2. To talk; converse: The crowd was buzzing about some pretty raunchy divorces (1832+)
  3. To flatter; court (1900+)
  4. o inform someone in confidence, esp by whispering: You'll buzz me later (1950s+)
  5. To announce one's arrival or summon someone by or as if by sounding a buzzer: Buzz when you want me (1950s+)
  6. To beg (1920s+ Hoboes)
  7. To pilfer; rob; hold up (1812+ Underworld)
  8. To question or investigate someone (1930s+ Police & underworld)
  9. To fly an aircraft alarmingly close to something, esp to the ground •A sense ''to flutter or hover about, over, etc,'' is attested from 1650 (WWII air forces)
  10. To roister drunkenly at: They were all buzzing the bar (WWII armed forces)
  11. Kill; waste: They buzz the kid and her baby? (1990s+ Street gang)

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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