Etymology
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buffer (n.1)

"something that absorbs a blow, apparatus for deadening the concussion between a moving body and that against which it strikes," 1835, agent noun from obsolete verb buff "make a dull sound when struck" (mid-16c.), from Old French bufe "a blow, slap, punch" (see buffet (n.2)). Figurative sense of "anything that prevents impact or neutralizes the shock of impact of opposing forces" is from 1858.

buffer (v.)

"lessen the impact of," 1886, from buffer (n.). Related: Buffered; buffering.

buffer (n.2)

"one who or that which polishes by buffing," 1854, agent noun from buff (v.).

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Definitions of buffer
1
buffer (n.)
(chemistry) an ionic compound that resists changes in its pH;
buffer (n.)
a neutral zone between two rival powers that is created in order to diminish the danger of conflict;
Synonyms: buffer zone
buffer (n.)
an inclined metal frame at the front of a locomotive to clear the track;
Synonyms: fender / cowcatcher / pilot
buffer (n.)
(computer science) a part of RAM used for temporary storage of data that is waiting to be sent to a device; used to compensate for differences in the rate of flow of data between components of a computer system;
Synonyms: buffer storage / buffer store
buffer (n.)
a power tool used to buff surfaces;
Synonyms: polisher
buffer (n.)
a cushion-like device that reduces shock due to an impact;
Synonyms: fender
buffer (n.)
an implement consisting of soft material mounted on a block; used for polishing (as in manicuring);
Synonyms: buff
2
buffer (v.)
add a buffer (a solution);
buffered saline solution for the eyes
buffer (v.)
protect from impact;
Synonyms: cushion / soften
From wordnet.princeton.edu