There are 2 definitions of buffer in English:

buffer

Syllabification: buff·er
Pronunciation: /ˈbəfər
 
/

noun

  • 1A person or thing that prevents incompatible or antagonistic people or things from coming into contact with or harming each other: family and friends can provide a buffer against stress
    More example sentences
    • I believe that historical forces push us into conflict and without the law as a buffer between people, we would have a world of vendetta, a world of violence, a world of chaos.
    • Safety stock is used for the same reason as lead time - to provide a buffer of inventory to reduce the chance of a back order in the face of variability.
    • It can be a shield too, surely, a buffer between the committing of an act and its execution.
    Synonyms
    cushion, bulwark, shield, barrier, guard, safeguard
  • 2 (also buffer solution) Chemistry A solution that resists changes in pH when acid or alkali is added to it. Buffers typically involve a weak acid or alkali together with one of its salts.
    More example sentences
    • A spectral change was observed upon addition of lipid vesicles to the buffer solution of the sensitizers.
    • Chemical buffers can affect the uptake of macronutrients by reducing the pH gradient through the plasma membrane.
    • When cyanobacterial cells are immersed in buffers of high osmotic strength, phycobilisome diffusion is strongly inhibited.
  • 3 Computing A temporary memory area in which data is stored while it is being processed or transferred, especially one used while streaming video or downloading audio.
    More example sentences
    • First we create a buffer that is one byte bigger than the user string and fill it with zeros.
    • The data processing device may further include a write buffer for storing write data.
    • You can paste the text in your copy buffer into the active window with Ctrl-A.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Lessen or moderate the impact of (something): the massage helped to buffer the strain
    More example sentences
    • Among family members, social support can help buffer the negative impacts of poverty and economic hardship.
    • I love how the snow buffered the sound of the cars on the nearby streets.
    • It was buffered by a rock wall erected by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1978 to secure the monument against erosion, but a lawn and some outlying structures were buried in silt.
    Synonyms
    shield, protect, defend, cushion, insulate, screen, guard
  • 2Treat with a chemical buffer: add organic matter to buffer the resulting alkalinity
    More example sentences
    • Weaver and associates compared pain on instillation of plain tetracaine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution with pain caused by a solution buffered with sodium bicarbonate to a pH level of 7.4.
    • The pH of the medium was not buffered and the volume in each container was maintained by regularly adding fresh nutrient solution to compensate for plant consumption and evaporation.
    • Each media type, including SIM, was buffered with 25 mM MES and cultured for 35 d.
  • 3 Computing Store (data) in a buffer while it is being processed or transferred: try buffering as much of the video stream as you can before you hit the ‘play’ button
    More example sentences
    • Cunningly, the machine buffers everything, allowing you to capture a complete song or show, even if you don't press 'record' as soon as it starts.
    • The radio plays in real time - it doesn't buffer or save the audio before you hear.
    • But how, you might ask, were they able to buffer bits of data ahead of the current streaming rate?

Origin

mid 19th century: probably from obsolete buff (verb), imitative of the sound of a blow to a soft body.

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Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
noun
a small amount; a little

There are 2 definitions of buffer in English:

buffer2

Line breaks: buf¦fer
Pronunciation: /ˈbʌfə/

Entry from British & World English dictionary

noun

British informal
  • An elderly man who is considered to be foolishly old-fashioned, unworldly, or incompetent: a distinguished old buffer

Origin

mid 18th century: probably from obsolete buff (see buffer1), or from dialect buff 'stutter, splutter' (possibly the same word). In late Middle English buffer had the sense 'stammerer'.

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