Other forms: buffeted; buffeting; buffets

When you see the word buffet, it's hard not to think "all-you-can-eat." Although the noun can refer to food set out for self-service, buffet also means "a blow, especially with the hand" or, as a verb, "to strike sharply."

The two meanings of buffet come from very different sources. The self-serve meal buffet — from 18th-century French and pronounced buh-FAY — is named after a piece of furniture, bufet ("sideboard"), on which such a meal might be served. The meaning of hitting, however, comes from the Old French word bufe, "a blow" or "a puff of wind," and is pronounced BUH-fit. If the wind buffets the windows of your house, it can make them rattle in their frames, and if you are buffeted by bad news, you might shake in your shoes.

Definitions of buffet
  1. noun
    a piece of furniture that stands at the side of a dining room; has shelves and drawers
    synonyms: counter, sideboard
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    credence, credenza
    a kind of sideboard or buffet
    cellaret, minibar
    sideboard with compartments for holding bottles
    type of:
    article of furniture, furniture, piece of furniture
    furnishings that make a room or other area ready for occupancy
  2. noun
    a meal set out on a buffet at which guests help themselves
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    an assortment of foods starting with herring or smoked eel or salmon etc with bread and butter; then cheeses and eggs and pickled vegetables and aspics; finally hot foods; served as a buffet meal
    type of:
    meal, repast
    the food served and eaten at one time
  3. noun
    usually inexpensive bar
    synonyms: snack bar, snack counter
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    a snack bar in a film studio
    milk bar
    snack bar that sells milk drinks and light refreshments (such as ice cream)
    type of:
    a counter where you can obtain food or drink
Definitions of buffet
  1. verb
    strike, beat repeatedly
    “The wind buffeted him”
    synonyms: buff
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    type of:
    deal a blow to, either with the hand or with an instrument
  2. verb
    strike against forcefully
    “Winds buffeted the tent”
    synonyms: batter, knock about
    see moresee less
    type of:
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘buffet'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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