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Buffalo (pronunciation: /ˈbʌfəloʊ/) is a term that can refer to several species of large, even-toed ungulates in the genus Bison, including the American buffalo (Bison bison) and the European buffalo, or wisent (Bison bonasus). The term can also refer to the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and the Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis).


The word "buffalo" comes from the Portuguese word "bufalo," which was borrowed from Late Latin "bufalus," a variant of "bubalus." This word is derived from the Greek "boubalos," meaning "antelope." The original sense was "wild ox," and it later came to mean "buffalo" in English.

Related Terms

  • Bison: A genus of bovine mammals, of which two extant and four extinct species are recognized.
  • Ungulate: A diverse group of large mammals, most of which use the tips of their toes, usually hoofed, to sustain their whole body weight while moving.
  • Genus: A rank in the biological classification (known as taxonomy) that groups closely related species together.
  • Species: The basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity.
  • Antelope: A term referring to many even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia.
  • Ox: A term referring to a domesticated bovine trained as a draft animal.

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