Definition of buffer noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈbʌfə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbʌfər//
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  1. 1a thing or person that reduces a shock or protects somebody/something against difficulties buffer (against something) Support from family and friends acts as a buffer against stress. buffer (between something and something) She often had to act as a buffer between father and son. The organization acts as a buffer between the management and the union. a buffer state (= a small country between two powerful states that helps keep peace between them) a buffer zone (= an area of land between two opposing armies or countries) Peacekeepers have been sent in to establish a buffer zone between the rival forces.
  2. 2(British English) one of two round metal devices on the front or end of a train, or at the end of a railway/railroad track, that reduce the shock if the train hits something See related entries: Trains
  3. 3(computing) an area in a computer’s memory where data can be stored for a short time
  4. 4(also old buffer) (old-fashioned, British English) a silly old man
  5. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 2 mid 19th cent.: probably from obsolete buff (verb), imitative of the sound of a blow to a soft body. noun sense 3 mid 18th cent.: probably from obsolete buff (imitative of the sound of a blow to a soft body), or from dialect buff ‘stutter, splutter’ (possibly the same word). In late Middle English buffer had the sense ‘stammerer’.Idioms (informal) if a plan, somebody’s career, etc. hits the buffers, it suddenly stops being successful The former tennis star’s comeback trail hit the buffers yesterday when she lost in straight sets.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: buffer

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