the chief male servant of a household, usually in charge of serving food, the care of silverware, etc.
a male servant having charge of the wines and liquors.

1250–1300; Middle English buteler < Anglo-French butuiller, Old French bouteillier; see bottle1, -er2, -ier2

butlerlike, adjective
butlership, noun
underbutler, noun
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Benjamin Franklin, 1818–93, U.S. politician and a Union general in the Civil War.
Joseph, 1692–1752, English bishop, theologian, and author.
Nicholas Murray, 1862–1947, U.S. educator: president of Columbia University 1902–45; Nobel peace Prize 1931.
Pierce, 1866–1939, U.S. jurist: associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1923–39.
Samuel, 1612–80, English poet.
Samuel, 1835–1902, English novelist, essayist, and satirist.
Smedley Darlington [smed-lee dahr-ling-tuhn] , 1881–1940, U.S. Marine Corps general.
a city in W Pennsylvania.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
butler (ˈbʌtlə)
the male servant of a household in charge of the wines, table, etc: usually the head servant
[C13: from Old French bouteillier, from bouteillebottle1]

Butler (ˈbʌtlə)
1.  Joseph. 1692--1752, English bishop and theologian, author of Analogy of Religion (1736)
2.  Josephine (Elizabeth). 1828--1906, British social reformer, noted esp for her campaigns against state regulation of prostitution
3.  Reg, full name Reginald Cotterell Butler. 1913--81, British metal sculptor; his works include The Unknown Political Prisoner (1953)
4.  R(ichard) A(usten), Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, known as Rab Butler. 1902--82, British Conservative politician: Chancellor of the Exchequer (1951--55); Home Secretary (1957--62); Foreign Secretary (1963--64)
5.  Samuel. 1612--80, English poet and satirist; author of Hudibras (1663--78)
6.  Samuel. 1835--1902, British novelist, noted for his satirical work Erewhon (1872) and his autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh (1903)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 12c., from Anglo-Fr. buteillier "cup-bearer," from O.Fr. boteillier "cup-bearer, butler, officer in charge of wine," from boteille "wine vessel, bottle" (see bottle). The word reflects the position's original function as "chief servant in charge of wine." In O.Fr., fem.
boteilliere was used of the Virgin Mary as "dispenser" of the cup of Mercy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Butler definition

properly a servant in charge of the wine (Gen. 40:1-13; 41:9). The Hebrew word, _mashkeh_, thus translated is rendered also (plural) "cup-bearers" (1 Kings 10:5; 2 Chr. 9:4). Nehemiah (1:11) was cup-bearer to king Artaxerxes. It was a position of great responsibility and honour in royal households.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


chief male servant of a household who supervises other employees, receives guests, directs the serving of meals, and performs various personal services. The title originally applied to the person who had charge of the wine cellar and dispensed liquors, the name being derived from Middle English boteler (and various other forms), from Old French bouteillier, "bottle bearer." In the European Middle Ages it meant precisely this, but in time it came to mean an official of the crown, who nominally had charge of the wine but who in fact was a person of high rank, having different duties in different countries at different times.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for butler
He met a girl there and fooled around in the stacks of butler library.
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