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buff (buf) noun

1. A soft, thick, undyed leather made chiefly from the skins of buffalo, elk, or oxen.

2. A military uniform coat made of such leather.

3. Color. A pale, light, or moderate yellowish pink to yellow, including moderate orange yellow to light yellowish brown.

4. Bare skin.

5. A piece of soft material, such as velvet or leather, often mounted on a block and used for polishing.


1. Made or formed of buff.

2. Of the color buff.

verb tr.

1. To polish or shine with a piece of soft material.

2. To soften the surface of (leather) by raising a nap.

3. To make the color of buff.

[From obsolete buffle, buffalo, from French buffle, from Late Latin bufalus.]

buff (buf) noun

One that is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject.

[From the buff-colored uniform worn by New York volunteer firemen around 1920, originally applied to an enthusiast of fires and fire fighting.]

"Securing a contestant's seat is a primary hobby for scores of trivia buffs." Kara G. Morrison, Yes, women do want to be millionaires, too, The Detroit News, Mar 18, 2000.

This week's theme: words with unusual etymologies.


Do not praise yourself / not slander others: / There are still many days to go / and anything could happen. -Kabir

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