There are 2 main definitions of buffalo in English:

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buffalo 1

Pronunciation: /ˈbəf(ə)ˌlō/

noun (plural same, buffaloes or buffalos)

1A heavily built wild ox with backswept horns, found mainly in the Old World tropics.
Example sentences
  • Endangered species include tapir, guar and banteng, wild buffalo, serow, red dog, Asiatic elephant, and leopard.
  • The world's largest concentrations of eland, forest buffalo and roan antelope were virtually destroyed.
  • A woman jumped into the fray, slapped the thief and then led the buffalo by the horns to safety.
1.1The North American bison.
Example sentences
  • Two hundred years ago, bison, aka buffalo, roamed North America in massive herds.
  • It was conducted mainly among the buffalo hunting groups of the plains region.
  • The menu features game, namely rabbit, pigeon, venison and pheasant, and from time to time buffalo and wild boar.
2 (also buffalo fish) A large grayish-olive freshwater fish with thick lips, common in North America.
  • Genus Ictiobus, family Catostomidae: several species
Example sentences
  • Big carp, even bigger buffalo and hundreds of panfish flopped helplessly in the pasture's tall fescue and dried up cow patties.
  • Smallmouth buffalo are esteemed above all suckers from a culinary standpoint.
  • The buffalo [a native variety of the carp] now swish sluggishly around him, some pushing half-heartedly on the nets.

verb (buffaloes, buffaloing, buffaloed)

[with object] North American informal
1Overawe or intimidate (someone): she didn’t like being buffaloed
More example sentences
  • The Australian government has refused to sign the Kyoto treaty but still seems to have been buffaloed by the totally unsubstantiated claim that carbon dioxide is harmful.
  • ‘How are we going to get in? ‘the Duke asked, determined not to be buffaloed by a camel.’
  • But it does seem to be a guy who will come out the way he would like in every case - and is not going to be buffaloed by Professor Tribe's hand-picked law clerks any more than he is buffaloed by Professor Tribe.
1.1Baffle (someone): the problem has buffaloed the advertising staff
More example sentences
  • Nor does the director ask the question: How was the entire management of a prestigious publication buffaloed by an imaginative, but essentially juvenile, ruse?
  • A disease that has buffaloed scientists, veterinarians, and bison ranchers is yielding some of its secrets.
  • It's harder to buffalo the public in compressed time.


Mid 16th century: probably from Spanish or Portuguese búfalo, from late Latin bufalus, from earlier bubalus, from Greek boubalos 'antelope, wild ox'.

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There are 2 main definitions of buffalo in English:

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Buffalo 2

Pronunciation: /ˈbəf(ə)ˌlō/
An industrial city in the northwestern part of the state of New York; population 270,919 (est. 2008). Located at the eastern end of Lake Erie, it is a major port on the St. Lawrence Seaway.
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