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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 of but1
900
before 900; Middle English buten, Old English būtan for phrase be ūtan on the outside, without. See by1, out
Can be confused
but, butt.
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.

but2

[buht] /bʌt/
noun, Scot.
1.
the outer or front room of a house; the outer or front apartment in an apartment house.
2.
the kitchen of a two-room dwelling, especially of a cottage.
Origin
1715-25; noun use of but1 (adv.) outside, outside the house

but3

[buht] /bʌt/
1.
butt5 .

but-

1.
a combining form meaning “containing a group of four carbon atoms,” used in the formation of compound words:
butene.

butt5

or but

[buht] /bʌt/
1.
any of several flatfishes, especially the halibut.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English butte; cognate with Sw butta turbot, German Butt brill, turbot, flounder, Dutch bot flounder
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for but

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

butt1

/bʌt/
noun
1.
the thicker or blunt end of something, such as the end of the stock of a rifle
2.
the unused end of something, esp of a cigarette; stub
3.
(tanning) the portion of a hide covering the lower backside of the animal
4.
(US & Canadian, informal) the buttocks
5.
(US) a slang word for cigarette
6.
(building trades) short for butt joint, butt hinge
Word Origin
C15 (in the sense: thick end of something, buttock): related to Old English buttuc end, ridge, Middle Dutch bot stumpy

butt2

/bʌt/
noun
1.
a person or thing that is the target of ridicule, wit, etc
2.
(shooting, archery)
  1. a mound of earth behind the target on a target range that stops bullets or wide shots
  2. the target itself
  3. (pl) the target range
3.
a low barrier, usually of sods or peat, behind which sportsmen shoot game birds, esp grouse
4.
(archaic) goal; aim
verb
5.
usually foll by on or against. to lie or be placed end on to; abut: to butt a beam against a wall
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: mark for archery practice): from Old French but; related to French butte knoll, target

butt3

/bʌt/
verb
1.
to strike or push (something) with the head or horns
2.
(intransitive) to project; jut
3.
(intransitive; foll by in or into) to intrude, esp into a conversation; interfere; meddle
4.
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) butt out, to stop interfering or meddling
noun
5.
a blow with the head or horns
Derived Forms
butter, noun
Word Origin
C12: from Old French boter, of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch botten to strike; see beat, button

butt4

/bʌt/
noun
1.
a large cask, esp one with a capacity of two hogsheads, for storing wine or beer
2.
a US unit of liquid measure equal to 126 US gallons
Word Origin
C14: from Old French botte, from Old Provençal bota, from Late Latin buttis cask, perhaps from Greek butinē chamber pot

Butt

/bʌt/
noun
1.
Dame Clara. 1872–1936, English contralto
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
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.

butt

n.

"thick end," c.1400, butte, which probably is related to Middle Dutch and Dutch bot, Low German butt "blunt, dull," Old Norse bauta (see beat (v.)). Or related somehow to Old English buttuc "end, small piece of land," and Old Norse butr "short." In sense of "human posterior" it is recorded from mid-15c. Meaning "remainder of a smoked cigarette" first recorded 1847.

"liquor barrel," late 14c., from Anglo-French but and Old French bot "barrel, wineskin" (14c., Modern French botte), from Late Latin buttis "cask" (see bottle (n.)). Cognate with Spanish and Portuguese bota, Italian botte. Usually a cask holding 108 to 140 gallons, or roughly two hogsheads, but the measure varied greatly.

"target of a joke," 1610s, originally "target for shooting practice" (mid-14c.), from Old French but "aim, goal, end, target (of an arrow, etc.)," 13c., which seems to be a fusion of Old French words for "end" (bout) and "aim, goal" (but), both ultimately from Germanic. The latter is from Frankish *but "stump, stock, block," or some other Germanic source (cf. Old Norse butr "log of wood"), which would connect it with butt (n.1).

"flat fish," c.1300, a general Germanic name applied to various kinds of flat fishes; cf. Old Swedish but "flatfish," German Butte, Dutch bot, perhaps ultimately related to butt (n.1). "Hence butt-woman, who sells these, a fish-wife." [OED]

v.

"hit with the head," c.1200, from Anglo-French buter, from Old French boter "to push, shove, knock; to thrust against," from Frankish or another Germanic source (cf. Old Norse bauta, Low German boten "to strike, beat"), from Proto-Germanic *butan, from PIE root *bhau- "to strike" (see batter (v.)). Related: Butted; butting. To butt in "rudely intrude" is American English, attested from 1900.

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

but

adverb

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

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

butt

adjective

Bad; undesirable (1990s+ Students)

adverb

Very; extremely; stone: That furniture is butt ugly (1980s+ Students)

noun

  1. The buttocks; rump; ass •This sense is attested as western US in 1860. Oddly enough, butt looks like a diminutive of buttock, but to judge by the suffix, the opposite must be the case.: So drunk he couldn't find his butt with both hands (1450+)
  2. The remainder of a smoked cigarette or cigar (1930s+)
  3. A cigarette: a pack of butts (1900+)
  4. The final year of a prison sentence or a term of military enlistment (1915+ Armed forces & prison)
  5. Something or someone disliked •Somewhat derogatory: woman is a real butt

Related Terms

duck-butt, dusty butt, get off one's ass, good butt, goofy-butt, gripe one's ass, no skin off my ass, scuttlebutt

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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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