Definition of buffoon in English:



  • A ridiculous but amusing person; a clown.

    • ‘He mocked these buffoons and perhaps rendered them a bit too much in caricature, but then, the upper-class conservatives deserve to be ridiculed for their part in furthering the downfall of British society.’
    • ‘Also on Sunday afternoon the ever-popular ‘Trivia with Annabelle’ will sort out the boffins from the buffoons, with lots of prizes up for grabs and plenty of fun to be had.’
    • ‘If we can't laugh at a caricature of ourselves, then maybe we have a lot more in common with these self-important buffoons than we think.’
    • ‘Memo to Charles: the next time one of these buffoons wanders in and says ‘I'm a spin doctor and I'm here to help ’, run the other way.’
    • ‘According to the script, Interpol is run by buffoons and they let a super bad guy named Snakehead get away when he was about to steal the life-giving medallion.’
    • ‘Politicians regularly complain about the public perception of them as being clowns, buffoons or chancers.’
    • ‘On TV shows, leading men wore suits and came home from offices, not factories, while the occasional blue-collar protagonists who did appear were treated as buffoons.’
    • ‘Can these buffoons really wander willy-nilly around the congested airspace above Britain with no regard for the professional pilots who rely on every other pilot to be up-to-speed on what is happening in their area?’
    • ‘There we were, four or five clowns and buffoons in silly outfits waiting together backstage to walk out on a wooden platform with a brass pole in the center.’
    • ‘And yes, yes, for the hundredth time YES, feminists disapprove of advertisements that stereotype men as ignorant buffoons.’
    • ‘Sit back and savour the antics and battle of wits unleashed by the team of buffoons, hold your breath at the breath-stopping show of trapeze artistes and the exciting fare dished out by acrobats on bicycles.’
    • ‘Parody and satire work best when the target is worthy, with some fundamental flaw in their thinking or action that when exposed via a skilled humorist reveals them for the misguided buffoons that they are.’
    • ‘I am usually quite controlled, but I was irritated that I was forced to spend my time with these sycophantic buffoons, and it occurred to me that I should for once try to extract a fee for my weekly generosity.’
    • ‘By the end of the Civil War the backcountry idiom had been completely identified with the ignorant and buffoons.’
    • ‘Also, these buffoons have the cheek to complain about dogs savaging sheep, when their packs of hounds race around the countryside under very little control, regularly disposing of domestic pets unfortunate enough to cross their path.’
    • ‘Along the same lines, there is an ad that features an incompetent buffoon who can't get his car stereo to work.’
    • ‘He was ruined by megalomania and self-indulgence, but had also been shrewdly disarmed by a society that reduced those who threatened it to harmless buffoons.’
    • ‘These two gentlemen chose to behave like buffoons and engaged in heckling each other, much to the alarm of the businessmen who were expecting some intelligent responses to their questions.’
    • ‘However, before dismissing the generals as mere incompetent buffoons, we must establish the context.’
    • ‘Far from being a bunch of incompetent buffoons the agency was assigned the delicate task of choosing the target, keeping it a secret from other NATO allies and providing the necessary cover story once the bombing occurred.’
    idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
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Mid 16th century: from French bouffon, from Italian buffone, from medieval Latin buffo clown Originally recorded as a rare Scots word for a kind of pantomime dance, the term later (late 16th century) denoted a professional jester.