Buffet vs buffet

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Buffet and buffet are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words buffet and buffet, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

Buffet (BUFF it) means to pound, to beat against, to inflict a sequence of blows. Buffet is used as a noun or a verb, related words are buffets, buffeted, buffeting. Buffet may be used either literally or figuratively. For instance, a house may be said to be buffeted by wind. A politician may be said to be buffeted by popular opinion. The word buffet is derived from the Old French word bufeter, which means to inflict blows or to slap.

A buffet (boo FAY) is a smorgasbord, a dinner, or meal that is displayed upon a table so that guests may serve themselves. Many gatherings such as weddings or business conferences may offer a buffet as a way to serve a large number of people quickly. The word buffet may also mean a piece of furniture that has a long, flat surface and drawers for storing linens and silverware and is presumably used to serve buffets. The word buffet is derived from the French word bufet, which means sideboard.


Buffeted by strong winds, one boy in particular struggles to stay upright, as they signal the deaths on tiny plastic bugles. (The Financial Times)

Companies worldwide have been buffeted by actions taken by governments to stem the outbreak of coronavirus infections since they emerged in China, where entire cities have been locked down and factories shut. (The International News)

On Tuesday, MGM Resorts International announced it will temporarily close the buffets at Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur, effective this Sunday. (The Las Vegas Review-Journal)

She described a folding chess board being inlaid with mahogany and maple squares, and a built-in oak buffet with panels in a bird of paradise design. (Redlands News)