Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DAILY LIFE

Sense: 1-5, 8
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: buff 'to hit or be hit softly' (16-19 centuries), probably from the sound.
Sense: 6
Date: 1700-1800
Origin: Origin unknown
Sense: 7
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: BUFF2

buffer

1 noun
     
buff‧er1 [countable]
1

protection

someone or something that protects one thing or person from being harmed by another
buffer against
Eastern Europe was important to Russia as a buffer against the West.
buffer between
She often had to act as a buffer between father and son.
2

railway

TTT one of the two special metal springs on the front or back of a train or at the end of a railway track to take the shock if the train hits something
3

buffer zone

PM an area between two armies, which is intended to separate them so that they do not fight
4

buffer state

PG a smaller country between two larger countries, which makes war between them less likely
5TD

computer

TD a place in a computer's memory for storing information temporarily
6

person

British English old-fashioned an old man who is not good at managing things:
He's a nice old buffer.
7

for polishing

DT something used to polish a surface
8

run into/hit the buffers

informal an activity or plan that hits the buffers is stopped and does not succeed
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