Restaurant arrangement whereby you serve yourself, meaning that you get exactly what you want (if it's present to choose from) and generally, you get to go back to get more of it as much as you want. Quasi-synonymous for smorgasbord.

Buffet, anciently a little apartment, separated from the rest of the room, for the disposing of china, glass, etc. It is now a piece of furniture for the dining-room, called a sideboard, for the same purpose.


Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Buf*fet" (?), n. [F. buffet, LL. bufetum; of uncertain origin; perh. fr. the same source as E. buffet a blow, the root meaning to puff, hence (cf. puffed up) the idea of ostentation or display.]

1.

A cupboard or set of shelves, either movable or fixed at one side of a room, for the display of plate, china, etc., a sideboard.

Not when a gilt buffet's reflected pride Turns you from sound philosophy aside. Pope.

2.

A counter for refreshments; a restaurant at a railroad station, or place of public gathering.

 

© Webster 1913.


Buf"fet (?), n. [OE. buffet, boffet, OF. buffet a slap in the face, a pair of bellows, fr. buffe blow, cf. F. bouffer to blow, puff; prob. akin to E. puff. For the meaning slap, blow, cf. F. soufflet a slap, souffler to blow. See Puff, v. i., and cf. Buffet sidebroad, Buffoon]

1.

A blow with the hand; a slap on the face; a cuff.

When on his cheek a buffet fell. Sir W. Scott.

2.

A blow from any source, or that which affects like a blow, as the violence of winds or waves; a stroke; an adverse action; an affliction; a trial; adversity.

Those planks of tough and hardy oak that used for yeas to brave the buffets of the Bay of Biscay. Burke.

Fortune's buffets and rewards. Shak.

3.

A small stool; a stool for a buffet or counter.

Go fetch us a light buffet. Townely Myst.

 

© Webster 1913.


Buf"fet, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Buffeted; p. pr. & vb. n. Buffeting.] [OE. buffeten, OF. buffeter. See the preceding noun.]

1.

To strike with the hand or fist; to box; to beat; to cuff; to slap.

They spit in his face and buffeted him. Matt. xxvi. 67.

2.

To affect as with blows; to strike repeatedly; to strive with or contend against; as, to buffet the billows.

The sudden hurricane in thunder roars, Buffets the bark, and whirls it from the shores. Broome.

You are lucky fellows who can live in a dreamland of your own, instead of being buffeted about the world. W. Black.

3. [Cf. Buffer.]

To deaden the sound of (bells) by muffling the clapper.

 

© Webster 1913.


Buf"fet, v. i.

1.

To exercise or play at boxing; to strike; to smite; to strive; to contend.

If I might buffet for my love, or bound my horse for her favors, I could lay on like a butcher. Shak.

2.

To make one's way by blows or struggling.

Strove to buffet to land in vain. Tennyson.

 

© Webster 1913.

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