Main meanings of buffalo in English

: buffalo1Buffalo2


Pronunciation /ˈbʌfələʊ/

See synonyms for buffalo on

Translate buffalo into Spanish

nounplural noun buffalo, plural noun buffaloes

  • 1A heavily built wild ox with backswept horns, found mainly in the Old World tropics.

    four species native to South Asia (genus Bubalus, family Bovidae). See also
    water buffalo
    a wild ox with large horns, native to Africa south of the Sahara (Synceros caffer, family Bovidae, the African buffalo), sometimes considered to be two species, the Cape buffalo and the forest buffalo or dwarf buffalo.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘The tamaraw, the very rare dwarf buffalo of Mindoro that is the Philippines' national animal; Heude described that, and we found the type specimen.’
    • ‘Along the banks we caught sight of both the supposedly almost extinct species of dwarf buffalo, the highland and lowland anoa.’
    • ‘These species, all of which are under threat due to illegal harvesting, included Grants gazelle, Thomsons gazelle, dik-dik, eland, impala, waterbuck, warthog, plains zebra, Cape buffalo and Masai giraffe.’
    • ‘As quick as lightning the buffalo whirled around and caught my foot with her crooked horn and came very close to goring the horse.’
    • ‘The fearsome figure - astride a buffalo with menacing horns - is Lord Yamadharma, the ultimate arbiter of your life here and hereafter.’
    • ‘The Aurochs itself may have been descended from a cattle kind including bison and water buffaloes.’
    • ‘This area is of vital importance, not only for the babirusa but also for the anoa (an endemic dwarf buffalo), the tiny, giant-eyed spectral tarsier and the locally endemic Heck's macaque.’
    • ‘The wild buffalo are the remnants and descendants of a 100-strong herd kept under the Kanyuan Bridge more than a decade ago by Li Pi-e.’
    • ‘Volcanic outcrops of rock silhouette the skyline and farmers work the fertile land with their buffaloes heavily plodding through the muddy, shimmering soil as they pull aged ploughs.’
    • ‘Elephants, forest buffalo, bush pigs, leopards, gorillas, chimpanzees, and several monkey species roam the forests.’
    • ‘In addition, the teams surveyed the numbers of other plants and animals including endangered golden monkeys, elephants, and forest buffalo.’
    • ‘Anecdote from field notes: Zulu praise-singers hail the buffalo as the wild ox that defied taming by generations of kings.’
    • ‘The 500 resident mammals include rhinos, camels, buffalo, bison, wildebeest, lions, tigers, zebra, monkeys, deer, antelopes and wallabies.’
    • ‘Wild cats, buffaloes, bears and elephants would all be kept and then made to fight one another.’
    • ‘Inbreeding has also plagued wild elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, and antelope populations.’
    • ‘There are leopard, buffalo, elephants and wild dogs, however, so one needs to be wary.’
    • ‘Home to numerous crocodiles and hippo, the Great Ruaha draws many thirsty waterbuck, leopard, buffalo, reedbuck, wild dogs, lion and hyena to its banks.’
  • 2The North American bison.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘That is definitely a load to be reckoned with and also explains why they were able to kill such large animals as grizzly bears and buffalo with a six-gun even back then.’
    • ‘Over their shoulders are what look like buffaloes or bison.’
    • ‘Nationally, 41 separate tribes now belong to the Intertribal Bison Cooperative, whose sole mission is buffalo restoration.’
    • ‘On the eastern side of the bluff, the bones of extinct species of bison attest that the promontory was once used as a buffalo jump.’
    • ‘Local people depended on turtles much the way native North Americans depended on the buffalo.’
    • ‘In the Lamar Valley a buffalo ranch was established where bison were bred and fed for the viewing enjoyment of the public.’
    • ‘Those cattle have been used as an excuse for the Montana Department of Livestock to slaughter thousands of America's last wild herd of buffalo.’
    • ‘They have introduced the bison - better known as the buffalo of Hollywood westerns - to Hornby Castle, near Bedale.’
    • ‘The buffalo of North America could once numbered in the tens of millions, but were reduced to near-extinction by systematic slaughter during the 19th century.’
    • ‘Unlike captive ranched buffalo, which are now relatively common, the Yellowstone buffalo herd has never interbred with cattle and has retained its wild character.’
    • ‘This year my contribution was a buffalo, an American bison.’
    • ‘‘The country was one black robe,’ said early explorers on the North American continent as they surveyed the herds of buffalo.’
    • ‘Many of North America's buffalo were already gone by the time the notorious hide hunt started on the Great Plains.’
    • ‘Timothy ‘Speed’ Levitch posits that the site should be turned into a park full of free-roaming American bison, popularly known as buffalo.’
    • ‘The American bison, which is commonly called a buffalo, is not on the U.S. Endangered Species List.’
    • ‘The smaller European relative of the American buffalo, called the European Bison or Wisent, suffered a similar fate.’
    • ‘These once hosted and boosted millions of bison, a large North American mammal of the buffalo tribe.’
  • 3

    (also buffalo fish)
    A large greyish-olive freshwater fish with thick lips, common in North America.

    Genus Ictiobus, family Catostomidae: several species

    ‘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.’
    • ‘Catch of common carp was generally high during 1958-1975 and has decreased since; harvests have approximately doubled for buffalo fishes, catfishes and freshwater drum during 1945-1999.’

verbverb buffaloes, verb buffaloing, verb buffaloed

[with object]
  • 1North American informal Overawe or intimidate (someone)

    • ‘she didn't like being buffaloed’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘First they tried to buffalo voters with the odd assertion that North Dakota banks don't sell their customers' information, so there's no need to worry.’
    • ‘Long-term tests provide an extended look at a winning engine, a year's worth of thrashing that helps assure Best Engines judges haven't been buffaloed by a slick beauty cover and handsome output figures.’
    intimidate, daunt, cow, take someone's breath away, awe, disconcert, blind someone with something, unnerve, discourage, subdue, abash, dismay, frighten, alarm, scare, deter, terrify, terrorize, browbeat, bully
    1. 1.1Baffle (someone)
      ‘the problem has buffaloed the advertising staff’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Check the facts thoroughly for yourself, or risk getting buffaloed.’
      baffle, bewilder, mystify, bemuse, perplex, puzzle, confuse, confound, nonplus, disconcert, throw, throw off balance, disorientate, take aback, set thinking


Mid 16th century probably from Portuguese bufalo, from late Latin bufalus, from earlier bubalus, from Greek boubalos ‘antelope, wild ox’.

Main meanings of Buffalo in English

: buffalo1Buffalo2


Pronunciation /ˈbʌfələʊ/

See synonyms for Buffalo on

Translate Buffalo into Spanish

proper noun

  • An industrial city in New York State; population 270,919 (est. 2008). Situated at the eastern end of Lake Erie, it is a major port of the St Lawrence Seaway.