from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A soft, thick, undyed leather made chiefly from the skins of buffalo, elk, or oxen.
  • noun A military uniform coat made of such leather.
  • noun A pale, light, or moderate yellowish pink to yellow, including moderate orange-yellow to light yellowish brown.
  • noun A piece of soft material, such as velvet or leather, often mounted on a block and used for polishing.
  • adjective Made or formed of buff.
  • adjective Of the color buff.
  • adjective Slang Having good muscle tone; physically fit and trim.
  • transitive verb To polish or shine with a piece of soft material.
  • transitive verb To soften the surface of (leather) by raising a nap.
  • transitive verb To make the color of buff.
  • idiom (in the buff) Naked.
  • noun One who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To polish with a buff-wheel or buff-stick.
  • To stammer.
  • To emit a dull sound.
  • noun Ä blow; a slap; a box; a stroke; a buffet.
  • To strike; buffet.
  • To resist; deaden, as a buffer.
  • noun In old armor, the chin-piece of the burgonet, corresponding to the aventaile, and pierced with holes to allow breathing.
  • noun A bough.
  • In leather manufacturing, to grind or shave with a buff-wheel.
  • noun A dull fellow; a drone.
  • noun Nonsense; trivial or idle talk: as, that is all buff.
  • noun A buffalo.
  • noun A kind of thick leather, originally and properly made of the skin of the buffalo, but now also of the skins of other animals, as elks, oxen, etc.
  • noun A buff-coat (which see).
  • noun The color of buff-leather; a yellow color deficient in luminosity and in chroma.
  • noun plural The third regiment of the line in the British army: so called from the color of the facings of their uniform.
  • noun In medicine, the buffy coat. See buffy.
  • noun A buff-stick; a buff-wheel.
  • noun The bare skin: as, to strip to the buff.
  • Made of buff-leather.
  • Of the color of buff-leather; brownish-yellow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Made of buff leather.
  • adjective Of the color of buff.
  • adjective a close, military outer garment, with short sleeves, and laced tightly over the chest, made of buffalo skin, or other thick and elastic material, worn by soldiers in the 17th century as a defensive covering.
  • adjective [Obs.] originally, a leather waistcoat; afterward, one of cloth of a buff color.
  • adjective (Mech.) a strip of wood covered with buff leather, used in polishing.
  • noun A sort of leather, prepared from the skin of the buffalo, dressed with oil, like chamois; also, the skins of oxen, elks, and other animals, dressed in like manner.
  • noun The color of buff; a light yellow, shading toward pink, gray, or brown.
  • noun A military coat, made of buff leather.
  • noun (Med.) The grayish viscid substance constituting the buffy coat. See Buffy coat, under Buffy, a.
  • noun (Mech.) A wheel covered with buff leather, and used in polishing cutlery, spoons, etc.
  • noun colloq. The bare skin.
  • transitive verb to polish with a soft cloth, especially one similar to a buff{5}. See buff, n., 5.
  • transitive verb obsolete To strike.
  • noun A buffet; a blow; -- obsolete except in the phrase “Blindman's buff.” See blindman's buff.
  • adjective Firm; sturdy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Undyed leather from the skin of buffalo or similar animals.
  • noun A tool, often one covered with buff leather, used for polishing.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From obsolete buffle, buffalo, from French buffle, from Late Latin būfalus; see buffalo.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From the buff-colored uniform worn by New York volunteer firemen in the 19th century, originally applied to an enthusiast of fires and firefighting.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From buffe ("leather"), from Middle French buffle ("buffalo").


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