Definition of boffin in English:



  • 1A person engaged in scientific or technical research.

    ‘the boffins at the Telecommunications Research Establishment’
    • ‘In March, boffins at the Transport Research Laboratory in Berkshire found that using a mobile phone while driving was more dangerous than being drunk behind the wheel.’
    • ‘Aircraft factories broke production records, and a brand-new air defence system was improvised by a mixture of eccentric boffins and a bright young staff of mostly female technicians.’
    • ‘Did you know that boffin means ‘scientific expert’?’
    • ‘The beach boffins came up with a formula to work out the quality of the grains of sand and its cohesive powers.’
    • ‘So what is a computer boffin doing teaching a physical education class?’
    • ‘Using a highly scientific personality test, the boffins behind this genius idea will match you up with one of six potential mates who will then romance you via email.’
    • ‘Now, though, the boffins have seemingly invented a super salmon which is immune to diseases such as ISA and grows six times faster than the rate of normal farmed fish.’
    • ‘Few cricket players or administrators are drawn from the ranks of scientific boffins.’
    • ‘This time around the authors are not drunken magazine hacks back from a long lunch; they're all eminent scientists, boffins and inventors.’
    • ‘He went on to suggest future inventions for boffins to work on: the slamless door, the suckless soup spoon and the trickleless tap.’
    • ‘It is already in use by more than 50 local authorities across the country, and has been given the thumbs-up by boffins at the Transport Research Laboratory.’
    • ‘Although collectors of real Dylan bootlegs will have been aware of this material for years, this spruced-up authorised version is another technical feat from the Columbia boffins.’
    • ‘In groundbreaking research Leeds University boffins discovered that men relax in pubs.’
    • ‘He has set his sights on featuring in an inventors and boffins special.’
    • ‘The MIT boffins created a physical one-way function by connecting cryptography with mesoscopics, the study of how waves travel in disordered materials.’
    • ‘A boffin has invented a car that runs on grass, or pigeon poo, or privet cuttings.’
    • ‘By getting his name on the starring list, John has qualified to join a bizarre game created by computer boffins at Virginia University in the US which links actors through their films.’
    • ‘Computer boffins working for a Glasgow architect have produced a CD which lets you explore the location and take a peek into the apartments, before a brick has been laid.’
    • ‘Some of the initial results of the 2001 Census certainly startled the mathematical boffins.’
    • ‘The team of boffins used the computer to find the period of a mathematical function, one of the basic maths building blocks of modern cryptography, doing so in the equivalent of a single CPU cycle.’
    expert, specialist, authority, genius, mastermind
    scientist, technician, researcher, inventor
    egghead, brains, einstein, whizz, wizard, alpha geek
    brainbox, clever clogs
    maven, rocket scientist, brainiac
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    1. 1.1A person with knowledge or a skill considered to be complex or arcane.
      ‘a computer boffin’
      • ‘Children are being turned off chemistry and physics by the mad professors and pointy-headed boffins of popular mythology, according to a new study of attitudes to science.’
      • ‘Northern hemisphere boffins are clearing their desks ahead of the summer holidays.’
      • ‘The boffins work it out by comparing government tax take with national income.’
      • ‘BBC1 will devote a Saturday night to the experiment, which should sort out boffins from buffoons by completing a set of brain-teasers.’
      • ‘Some motoring boffins lauded the design, describing it as confident, unapologetic and revolutionary.’
      • ‘No, plant and science boffins needn't drop everything and arrive in Allen to seek out the rare blue daffodils.’
      • ‘Avid readers and transport boffins will notice that this is the old sign from Melbourne Train Doors.’
      • ‘His election reminds me of one of those 1950s science fiction movies in which a mad boffin throws a lever and the poles are reversed.’
      • ‘Now, that's quite a brief for a pack of boffins playing with computers.’
      • ‘What role did he and the intelligence boffins play in compiling the deceitful dossiers last September and February?’
      • ‘Fertility expert Professor Winston shot to fame as a TV boffin after presenting a string of award-winning BBC science programmes.’
      • ‘One of the main aims of this Trail is to open the world of archaeology to people beyond the boffins.’
      • ‘The boffins also came to the conclusion that the armour was made in a low temperature bush fire and not in a blacksmith's forge as originally thought.’
      • ‘Being a boffin, I had access to computers a generation before most people did and I still have a copy of the first program I wrote - in 1967.’
      • ‘Network security breaches and virus attacks are not the realm of only a few teched-up boffins.’
      • ‘Analysts and IT boffins are confident that the technology is going to be mainstream before very long.’
      • ‘This has something to do with the new servers Halo boffins are presently introducing.’
      • ‘As a small business owner, you are not only the head honcho, but also the bean counter, chief salesman, IT boffin, tax specialist and marketing guru too.’
      • ‘He leads an excellent ensemble cast as they battle the elements, politicians and US boffins who think they know better.’
      • ‘It is a day for looking into one's soul - for behaving like one of those virus scanners the boffins have installed on my untrusty laptop.’
      influence, sway, control, leverage, power, command, weight
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Second World War: of unknown origin.