Main definitions of buff in English

: buff1buff2

buff1

noun

  • 1A yellowish-beige color.

    [as modifier] ‘a buff envelope’
    • ‘Juveniles are overall streaked brown and buff.’
    • ‘Many of the seed-eating columbids are buff, grey and brown colors, while the fruit-eaters are often more brightly colored.’
    • ‘C. infundibuliformis is funnel-shaped, as the specific name indicates, and has a cap of variable colour: buff, ochre, brown, or reddish.’
    • ‘There are more than 200 varieties in many different colours including make-up shades like buff, rose, chocolate and cream.’
    • ‘Body fur may be black, brown, grey, buff, red, white or multi-coloured, with many varieties of face markings.’
    • ‘Melanin, which provides a range of colors from gray to black, buff to red-brown and brown, provides camouflage for many birds and display colors for others.’
    • ‘Although they are commonly red or buff in colour with low contents of organic matter, their coloration is mainly of diagenetic origin and is not exclusive to these deposits.’
    • ‘The breast and abdomen of the male were buff with heavy markings of dark brown to black.’
    • ‘Today there are withy beds in the Southwest that produce willow withies in white, buff and brown.’
    • ‘Eight colours can be made out from the tapestry; the five main colours are blue-green, terracotta, light-green, buff and grey-blue.’
    • ‘Brick with blurred colors or flecks of color in earthy tones of red, brown, black and buff appear completely at home in a rustic setting.’
    • ‘Light-morph birds are generally brown above and pale brown or buff below, with a white chin, throat, and chest, and a dark belly - band.’
    • ‘These are characterized by small villages of rectangular pit-houses, cremation of the dead, and plain grey or brown pottery, sometimes painted red on buff.’
    • ‘The whole room is a zebra pelt of black and white and that colour that has been the fashion staple for so long they've invented a dozen names for it - taupe, camel, fawn, buff.’
    • ‘The presence of certain chemicals, such as iron oxide or other organic and mineral impurities, affects the colour of the baked product, and the firing of terracotta may cause the colour to vary from light buff to deep red.’
    • ‘During the last financial year I have fallen into the unhealthy habit of not opening bills or indeed anything buff and brown with my name typed on it.’
    • ‘If you prefer lighter shades, pale blue and buff always look tremendous together.’
    • ‘The white underside of this sparrow is streaked with buff and brown across the breast.’
    • ‘In the raffle, if they call out ticket 315, chances are I'll have it, but in buff when they want blue.’
    • ‘Pelage color varies considerably, but is usually some shade of brown, gray, or buff.’
  • 2A stout, dull yellow leather with a velvety surface.

    • ‘Men know him as a lonely figure riding of a morning through Rock Creek Park, wearing an immense sombrero, kid gloves, buff waistcoat and an old riding coat.’
    • ‘Officers were members of the gentry who did not wear a uniform but wore their own fine quality civilian clothes. They might wear a buff coat made of thick leather, with a small armour ‘gorget’ around their throat.’
    • ‘The buff coat was a standard piece of clothing for both the foot soldier and and the cavalryman. It offered moderate protection against blows from swords, but was ineffective against musket fire.’
    • ‘Among others, there is an account of his exchanging the bishop's cassock for the buff jerkin of a ballad singer, and selling out his stock of ballads at a tavern.’
    1. 2.1 A stick, wheel, or pad used for polishing or smoothing.
      • ‘Further, electrolytic polishing in a phosphoric acid solution or polishing with a buff can be conducted instead of the chemical polishing.’
      • ‘The method of manufacturing a resin filled board according to claim 3, wherein said surfaces of said conductive layer are mechanically polished using a buff.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Polish (something)

    ‘he buffed the glass until it gleamed’
    • ‘The wooden slats are cut, sanded, buffed, and finished by hand before being stained or painted (in a wide variety of colors), and cotton is used for the tapes and cords.’
    • ‘This surface is then buffed and polished with ever finer materials, like lambs wool, until the characteristic lustre is achieved.’
    • ‘Then it's just a matter of using another clean cloth to buff the wax off.’
    • ‘When placed against the hot glass, the pad steams and smokes, forming a layer of carbon that helps to buff the glass.’
    • ‘She smoothed paste wax on the old red linoleum and buffed it by hand.’
    • ‘Underneath, an orange jumper, a light jacket with a peachy-orange check, an orange handkerchief tucked into his pocket and the shiniest light-tan leather shoes, buffed to mirrored perfection.’
    • ‘It must be thoroughly buffed, following directions on wax label.’
    • ‘The wooden floor is buffed to a cherry-red shine that lends a little jolliness.’
    • ‘As an 8-year-old entrepreneur, I collected golf balls, buffed them to a glossy shine and bartered them back to golf enthusiasts on the 14th hole.’
    • ‘Waxed surface may be buffed occasionally to restore shine.’
    • ‘The most beautiful was a series of small graphite paintings, buffed to a dull sheen that recalls the surfaces of ancient mirrors.’
    • ‘The makeup artist has smoothed and buffed the skin of his face, highlighting the wide planes of his cheekbones.’
    • ‘Once the iron sheet is buffed to give it the dull sheen the engraving work is taken up.’
    • ‘When I'm done I'll rub on a paste wax of some sort and buff the piece to a soft glow.’
    • ‘Their boots were buffed into black mirrors, the red bands around their caps looked like slashes of blood against the khaki.’
    • ‘Then, the blades are sintered at a temperature of over 1,000 degrees, surface finished, tumbled and buffed.’
    • ‘It must have taken me about ten minutes to select my favourite - and by that time, the chatty beautician had filed and buffed my fingernails, ready for painting.’
    • ‘After the first coat has dried it should be buffed with No. 2 steel wool.’
    • ‘Solvent removes dirt and old wax, and leaves a thin wax coating which must be buffed.’
    • ‘So I shaved, brushed my teeth, deep-conditioned my hair, exfoliated, moisturised, filed and buffed my nails, and yet it still wasn't enough.’
    polish, burnish, rub up, rub, smooth, shine, wipe, clean
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Give (leather) a velvety finish by removing the surface of the grain.
      • ‘Many of the grain defects in a leather do not penetrate into the leather nearly to the depth of the grain layer, and can be entirely removed by buffing.’
      • ‘The buffing operation also releases particulates, which may contain chromium. Leather tanning facilities, however, have not been viewed as sources of chromium emissions by the States in which they are located.’
      • ‘Processing can be carried out on full grain and buffed leather of any origin and on leather fibre materials.’

adjective

North American
informal
  • Being in good physical shape with fine muscle tone.

    • ‘The BMI does not distinguish between fat and muscle, so buff men are likely to be considered overweight.’
    • ‘It also led to the development of something which would be even more significant in his life, as he constantly illustrated the buff bodies of the heroes he came across in Homer's legendary tales.’
    • ‘Core strength is key to developing a beautiful, buff body from head to toe, says this month's featured trainer, Lisa Wheeler.’
    • ‘He wasn't a buff guy, more lean than bulky, but he was still fit.’
    • ‘The lecturer is a buff guy in his mid-forties with a husky voice, and he's standing next to a blowup mattress.’
    • ‘More than 1,500 buff bodies from around the globe are expected to attend the world-class fitness event.’
    • ‘Maybe on the thin side, but he was still a buff guy.’
    • ‘And for the safety of you and your friends, hire the most buff lifeguard to man the stands on party day.’
    • ‘Napier started playing rugby again and getting into his current buff shape.’
    • ‘Strengthening them is essential for, preventing injury as well as developing a buff upper body.’
    • ‘Everyone knows each other, so there's friendly banter between Wayne the instructor and his group of out of shape ladies and one incredibly buff young man.’
    • ‘A large buff man sat by a table collecting money.’
    • ‘He worked in Honduras in the 1980s - a big, buff guy with a metal plate in his head.’
    • ‘And then she saw the very buff man in a muscle shirt hovering over Trent, shouting words of motivation.’
    • ‘Tomorrow's buff body loses out to the dread of today's workout, and a reduced risk of cancer is obscured by the pleasure of a cigarette.’
    • ‘Far ahead, a door opened and a buff man stepped out.’
    • ‘‘They were big, buff guys in caps and sunglasses, and their guns were drawn,’ Williams says.’
    • ‘I looked into that face, that pale face, buff body, shaggy black hair, and red eyes.’
    • ‘I discreetly passed it to the buff surfer boy next to me.’
    • ‘Now, you can just go straight home - and still get a buff body even if you don't have a lot of time to spare.’
    healthy, well, in good health
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • in the buff

    • informal Naked.

      • ‘If you prefer your nudism, well, natural, why not get literally get back to nature with a stroll across England in the buff?’
      • ‘There's an added incentive to buffing in the buff: how her late mother would have disapproved.’
      • ‘Russia's top politicians regularly appear for interviews on this popular news show, and, yes, the interviewer is sitting there in the buff, asking serious questions as though all was normal.’
      • ‘The stories featured mainly attractive young people with no perceptible acting talent or experience disporting themselves in the buff.’
      • ‘Here's a hint, don't try gymnastics in the buff.’
      • ‘Some of us were doing real exams at university, and it was most distracting with all the girls wandering around in the buff.’
      • ‘Although rumors circulated saying she would appear completely in the buff, a spokesperson for the actress confirmed ‘She is certainly not nude.’’
      • ‘The final breakthrough will be when people are making bets in the buff.’
      • ‘I'm not implying we should all be in the buff all the time.’
      • ‘In 1998, in the early morning hours after Montreal's massive Black & Blue circuit party benders, a man awoke in an alley, in the buff, with no memory of who he was or where he came from.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: probably from French buffle, from Italian bufalo, from late Latin bufalus (see buffalo). The original sense in English was buffalo later oxhide or color of oxhide.

Pronunciation:

buff

/bəf/

Main definitions of buff in English

: buff1buff2

buff2

noun

informal
  • [with modifier] A person who is enthusiastically interested in and very knowledgeable about a particular subject.

    ‘a computer buff’
    • ‘Beyond the obvious implications for sci-fi buffs and other space enthusiasts, the episode sheds light on the versatility of free enterprise.’
    • ‘Observation shows that forged paintings are usually offered to novice art collectors, art buffs who are too lazy to learn about the subject or those who believe they are really knowledgeable in art matters.’
    • ‘An important story, the CD is ideal for history buffs, or anyone interested in the Sally Hemings-Thomas Jefferson story.’
    • ‘But even devoted space buffs long ago lost interest in the shuttle program.’
    • ‘The main problem being that no matter how enthusiastically a wine buff describes their cheeky little wine from Anjou, the viewer is left unable to smell or taste it.’
    • ‘To get you started, here are a few great ideas for everyone on your list from the yoga lover to the car enthusiast to the beauty buff.’
    • ‘As film buffs know, sequels seldom live up to the original.’
    • ‘Young computer buffs are lining up to catch a rare glimpse of endangered red squirrels - by using quick ‘mouse’ action.’
    • ‘But history buffs, particularly those interested in Southern history, will still find much to like - and learn - in Big Cotton.’
    • ‘He is a film buff, theatre-goer, art connoisseur, reader and amateur boxing referee.’
    • ‘If you're a film score buff or someone interested in good 20th century music, this CD issue won't disappoint.’
    • ‘Older readers of Cotswold history buff Dennis Hughes' latest book are guaranteed a musical trip down memory lane.’
    • ‘An evening for film buffs and all those interested in exploring the elusive, unending question of the Indian identity.’
    • ‘Well, this Film Snob says you're not a film buff if you don't watch older movies.’
    • ‘For example, offering a net-based service costs very little and the expertise is often found among young computer buffs.’
    • ‘Film theory buffs and nerds alike certainly will go rabid with delight at the mere notion that such a film exists for consumption.’
    • ‘It's the perfect partner for workout enthusiasts and exercise buffs!’
    • ‘You don't need to be a film buff to enjoy the movies or a football fanatic to watch a game.’
    • ‘Film music buffs will want more complete realizations of these scores, but the present CD is excellent and an economical purchase for more moderate types.’
    enthusiast, fan, fanatic, devotee, addict, lover, admirer
    expert, connoisseur, aficionado, authority, pundit, cognoscente, one of the cognoscenti, savant
    freak, nut, fiend, maniac, ham, ninja
    maven, geek, nerd
    fundi
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 20th century: from buff, originally applied to enthusiastic fire-watchers, because of the buff uniforms formerly worn by New York volunteer firemen.

Pronunciation:

buff

/bəf/