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but1

[buht; unstressed buh t] /bʌt; unstressed bət/
conjunction
1.
on the contrary; yet:
My brother went, but I did not.
2.
except; save:
She was so overcome with grief she could do nothing but weep.
3.
unless; if not; except that (followed by a clause, often with that expressed):
Nothing would do but that I should come in.
4.
without the circumstance that:
It never rains but it pours.
5.
otherwise than:
There is no hope but by prayer.
6.
that (used especially after doubt, deny, etc., with a negative):
I don't doubt but he will do it.
7.
who not; that not:
No leaders worthy of the name ever existed but they were optimists.
8.
(used as an intensifier to introduce an exclamatory expression):
But she's beautiful!
9.
Informal. than:
It no sooner started raining but it stopped.
preposition
10.
with the exception of; except; save:
No one replied but me.
adverb
11.
only; just:
There is but one God.
noun
12.
buts, reservations or objections:
You'll do as you're told, no buts about it.
Idioms
13.
but for, except for; were it not for:
But for the excessive humidity, it might have been a pleasant day.
14.
but what. what (def 25).
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English buten, Old English būtan for phrase be ūtan on the outside, without. See by, out
Synonyms
1. But, however, nevertheless, still, yet are words implying opposition (with a possible concession). But marks an opposition or contrast, though in a casual way: We are going, but we shall return. However indicates a less marked opposition, but displays a second consideration to be compared with the first: We are going; however (“notice this also” ), we shall return. Nevertheless implies a concession, something which should not be forgotten in making a summing up: We are going; nevertheless (“do not forget that” ), we shall return. Still implies that in spite of a preceding concession, something must be considered as possible or even inevitable: We have to go on foot; still (“it is probable and possible that” ), we'll get there. Yet implies that in spite of a preceding concession, there is still a chance for a different outcome: We are going; yet (“in spite of all, some day” ), we shall return. 2. See except1 .
Usage note
1. But, like and, is a common transitional word and often begins sentences. When it is used in the middle of a sentence as a coordinating conjunction like and or so, it is not followed by a comma unless the comma is one of a pair setting off a parenthetical expression: His political affiliations make no difference, but his lack of ethics does. The cast is nearly complete, but, our efforts notwithstanding, we lack a star. See also and, so1.
2, 10. When but is understood as a conjunction and the pronoun following it is understood as the subject of an incompletely expressed clause, the pronoun is in the subjective case: Everyone lost faith in the plan but she (did not lose faith). In virtually identical contexts, when but is understood as a preposition, the pronoun following it is in the objective case: Everyone lost faith but her. The prepositional use is more common. However, when prepositional but and its following pronoun occur near the beginning of a sentence, the subjective case often appears: Everyone but she lost faith in the plan. See also doubt, than.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for but for

but1

/bʌt; unstressed bət/
conjunction (coordinating)
1.
contrary to expectation: he cut his knee but didn't cry
2.
in contrast; on the contrary: I like opera but my husband doesn't
3.
(usually used after a negative) other than: we can't do anything but wait
conjunction (subordinating)
4.
(usually used after a negative) without it happening or being the case that: we never go out but it rains
5.
(foll by that) except that: nothing is impossible but that we live forever
6.
(archaic) if not; unless
sentence connector
7.
(informal) used to introduce an exclamation: my, but you're nice
preposition
8.
except; save: they saved all but one of the pigs
9.
but for, were it not for: but for you, we couldn't have managed
adverb
10.
just; merely; only: he was but a child, I can but try
11.
(Scot & Austral, NZ, informal) though; however: it's a rainy day: warm, but
12.
all but, almost; practically: he was all but dead when we found him
noun
13.
an objection (esp in the phrase ifs and buts)
Word Origin
Old English būtan without, outside, except, from beby + ūtanout; related to Old Saxon biūtan, Old High German biūzan

but2

/bʌt/
noun
1.
the outer room of a two-roomed cottage: usually the kitchen
preposition, adverb
2.
in or into the outer part (of a house) Compare ben1
Word Origin
C18: from but (adv) outside, hence, outer room; see but1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for but for

but

adv., prep.

Old English butan, buton "unless, except; without, outside," from West Germanic *be-utan, a compound of *be- "by" (see by) + *utana "out, outside; from without," from ut "out" (see out (adv.)). Not used as a conjunction in Old English. As a noun from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for but for

but

adverb

Really; definitely: He noticed it and began making cracks but loud

[1930s+; perhaps fr a Yiddish speech pattern]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with but for

but for

Except for, were it not for. For example, But for the afternoon shower, it was a perfect day, or But for the children, they would have gotten a divorce long ago. [ c. 1200 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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