Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of but
Meaning of but by Wiktionary Dictionary

but


    Etymology

    From Middle English but, buten, boute, bouten, from Old English būtan ( “out of, outside of, off, round about, except, without, all but, but only, besides, in addition to, in spite of, except that, save, but, only, unless, save that, if only, provided that, outside” ), equivalent to be- +‎ out. Cognate with Scots but, bot ( “outside, without, but” ), West Frisian bûten ( “outside of, apart from, other than, except, but” ), Dutch buiten ( “without, outside” ), Low German būten ( “without, outside” ). Compare bin, about .

    Pronunciation

    • ( stressed ) enPR: bŭt, IPA: /bʌt/, X-SAMPA: /bVt/
    • ( unstressed ) enPR: bət, IPA: /bət/, X-SAMPA: /b@t/
    • Rhymes: -ʌt
    • Homophone: butt

    Preposition

    but

    1. ( obsolete, except in Scotland, see below ) Outside of .
      Away but the hoose and tell me whae's there .
    2. Without, apart from, except .
      Everyone but Father left early .
      I like everything but that .

    Adverb

    but ( not comparable )

    1. Merely, only .
      Since that day, my mood has changed but a little .
    2. ( Australian ) ( conjunctive ) Though, however .
      I'll have to go home early but .

    Conjunction

    but

    1. Except ( for ), excluding. Preceded by a negation .
      I have no choice but to leave .
    2. On the contrary, but rather ( introducing a word or clause that contrasts with or contradicts the preceding clause or sentence without the not ) .
      I am not rich but ( I am ) poor .
      Not John but Peter went there .
    3. However, although, nevertheless ( implies that the following clause is contrary to prior belief or contrasts with or contradicts the preceding clause or sentence ) .
      She is very old but still attractive .
      You told me I could do that, but she said that I could not .
    4. Except that ( introducing a subordinate clause which qualifies a negative statement ); also, with omission of the subject of the subordinate clause, acting as a negative relative, "except one that", "except such that".
    5. Without it also being the case that; unless that ( introducing a necessary concomitant ) .
      It never rains but it pours .

    Usage notes

    Synonyms

    Noun

    but ( plural: buts )

    1. An instance or example of using the word "but" .
      It has to be doneno ifs or buts .
    2. ( Scotland ) The outer room of a small two-room cottage .

    Derived terms

    Statistics

    Anagrams


    but-

    By Wiktionary ( 2011/09/10 23:02 UTC Version )

    Etymology

    from butyl

    Derived terms



Explanation of but by Wordnet Dictionary

but


    Adverb
    1. and nothing more

    2. hopes that last but a moment


    Definition of but by GCIDE Dictionary

    but


    1. But ( bŭt ), prep., adv. & conj. [OE. bute, buten, AS. būtan, without, on the outside, except, besides; pref. be- + ūtan outward, without, fr. ūt out. Primarily, būtan, as well as ūt, is an adverb. √198. See By, Out; cf. About.]
      1. Except with; unless with; without. [Obs.]

      So insolent that he could not go but either spurning equals or trampling on his inferiors. Fuller.

      Touch not the cat but a glove. Motto of the Mackintoshes.

      2. Except; besides; save.

      Who can it be, ye gods! but perjured Lycon? E. Smith.

      ☞ In this sense, but is often used with other particles; as, but for, without, had it not been for. “Uncreated but for love divine.” Young.

      3. Excepting or excluding the fact that; save that; were it not that; unless; -- elliptical, for but that.

      And but my noble Moor is true of mind . . . it were enough to put him to ill thinking. Shak.

      4. Otherwise than that; that not; -- commonly, after a negative, with that.

      It cannot be but nature hath some director, of infinite power, to guide her in all her ways. Hooker.

      There is no question but the king of Spain will reform most of the abuses. Addison.

      5. Only; solely; merely.

      Observe but how their own principles combat one another. Milton.

      If they kill us, we shall but die. 2 Kings vii. 4.

      A formidable man but to his friends. Dryden.

      6. On the contrary; on the other hand; only; yet; still; however; nevertheless; more; further; -- as connective of sentences or clauses of a sentence, in a sense more or less exceptive or adversative; as, “the House of Representatives passed the bill, but the Senate dissented; our wants are many, but quite of another kind”.

      Now abideth faith hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Cor. xiii. 13.

      When pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the lowly is wisdom. Prov. xi. 2.

      All but. See under All. -- But and if, but if; an attempt on the part of King James's translators of the Bible to express the conjunctive and adversative force of the Greek

      But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; . . . the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him. Luke xii. 45, 46.

      But if, unless. [Obs.] Chaucer.

      But this I read, that but if remedy

      Thou her afford, full shortly I her dead shall see. Spenser.

      Syn. -- But, However, Still. These conjunctions mark opposition in passing from one thought or topic to another. But marks the opposition with a medium degree of strength; as, “this is not winter, but it is almost as cold; he requested my assistance, but I shall not aid him at present”. However is weaker, and throws the opposition ( as it were ) into the background; as, “this is not winter; it is, however, almost as cold; he required my assistance; at present, however, I shall not afford him aid. The plan, however, is still under consideration, and may yet be adopted.” Still is stronger than but, and marks the opposition more emphatically; as, “your arguments are weighty; still they do not convince me.” See Except, However.

      ☞ “The chief error with but is to use it where and is enough; an error springing from the tendency to use strong words without sufficient occasion.” Bain.

    2. But n. [Cf. But, prep., adv. & conj.] The outer apartment or kitchen of a two-roomed house; -- opposed to ben, the inner room. [Scot.]

    3. But, n. [See 1st But.]
      1. A limit; a boundary.

      2. The end; esp. the larger or thicker end, or the blunt, in distinction from the sharp, end. Now disused in this sense, being replaced by butt2. See 1st Butt.

      But end, the larger or thicker end; as, “the but end of a log; the but end of a musket.” See Butt, n.

    4. But, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Butted; p. pr. & vb. n. Butting.] See Butt, v., and Abut, v.

    5. Butt, But n. [F. but butt, aim ( cf. butte knoll ), or bout, OF. bot, end, extremity, fr. boter, buter, to push, butt, strike, F. bouter; of German origin; cf. OHG. bōzan, akin to E. beat. See Beat, v. t.]
      1. A limit; a bound; a goal; the extreme bound; the end.

      Here is my journey's end, here my butt

      And very sea mark of my utmost sail. Shak.

      ☞ As applied to land, the word is nearly synonymous with mete, and signifies properly the end line or boundary; the abuttal.

      2. The larger or thicker end of anything; the blunt end, in distinction from the sharp end; as, “the butt of a rifle”. Formerly also spelled but. See 2nd but, n. sense 2.

      3. A mark to be shot at; a target. Sir W. Scott.

      The groom his fellow groom at butts defies,

      And bends his bow, and levels with his eyes. Dryden.

      4. A person at whom ridicule, jest, or contempt is directed; as, “the butt of the company”.

      I played a sentence or two at my butt, which I thought very smart. Addison.

      5. A push, thrust, or sudden blow, given by the head of an animal; as, “the butt of a ram”.

      6. A thrust in fencing.

      To prove who gave the fairer butt,

      John shows the chalk on Robert's coat. Prior.

      7. A piece of land left unplowed at the end of a field.

      The hay was growing upon headlands and butts in cornfields. Burrill.

      8. ( Mech. ) A joint where the ends of two objects come squarely together without scarfing or chamfering; -- also called butt joint. The end of a connecting rod or other like piece, to which the boxing is attached by the strap, cotter, and gib. The portion of a half-coupling fastened to the end of a hose.

      9. ( Shipbuilding ) The joint where two planks in a strake meet.

      10. ( Carp. ) A kind of hinge used in hanging doors, etc.; -- so named because fastened on the edge of the door, which butts against the casing, instead of on its face, like the strap hinge; also called butt hinge.

      11. ( Leather Trade ) The thickest and stoutest part of tanned oxhides, used for soles of boots, harness, trunks.

      12. The hut or shelter of the person who attends to the targets in rifle practice.

      13. The buttocks; as, “get up off your butt and get to work”; -- used as a euphemism, less objectionable than ass. [slang]

      Syn. -- ass, rear end, derriere, behind, rump, heinie.

      Butt chain ( Saddlery ), a short chain attached to the end of a tug. -- Butt end. The thicker end of anything. See But end, under 2d But.

      Amen; and make me die a good old man!

      That's the butt end of a mother's blessing. Shak.

      A butt's length, the ordinary distance from the place of shooting to the butt, or mark. -- Butts and bounds ( Conveyancing ), abuttals and boundaries. In lands of the ordinary rectangular shape, butts are the lines at the ends ( F. bouts ), and bounds are those on the sides, or sidings, as they were formerly termed. Burrill. -- Bead and butt. See under Bead. -- Butt and butt, joining end to end without overlapping, as planks. -- Butt weld ( Mech. ), a butt joint, made by welding together the flat ends, or edges, of a piece of iron or steel, or of separate pieces, without having them overlap. See Weld. -- Full butt, headfirst with full force. [Colloq.] “The corporal . . . ran full butt at the lieutenant.” Marryat.

    6. Butt, But n. [F. but butt, aim ( cf. butte knoll ), or bout, OF. bot, end, extremity, fr. boter, buter, to push, butt, strike, F. bouter; of German origin; cf. OHG. bōzan, akin to E. beat. See Beat, v. t.]
      1. A limit; a bound; a goal; the extreme bound; the end.

      Here is my journey's end, here my butt

      And very sea mark of my utmost sail. Shak.

      ☞ As applied to land, the word is nearly synonymous with mete, and signifies properly the end line or boundary; the abuttal.

      2. The larger or thicker end of anything; the blunt end, in distinction from the sharp end; as, “the butt of a rifle”. Formerly also spelled but. See 2nd but, n. sense 2.

      3. A mark to be shot at; a target. Sir W. Scott.

      The groom his fellow groom at butts defies,

      And bends his bow, and levels with his eyes. Dryden.

      4. A person at whom ridicule, jest, or contempt is directed; as, “the butt of the company”.

      I played a sentence or two at my butt, which I thought very smart. Addison.

      5. A push, thrust, or sudden blow, given by the head of an animal; as, “the butt of a ram”.

      6. A thrust in fencing.

      To prove who gave the fairer butt,

      John shows the chalk on Robert's coat. Prior.

      7. A piece of land left unplowed at the end of a field.

      The hay was growing upon headlands and butts in cornfields. Burrill.

      8. ( Mech. ) A joint where the ends of two objects come squarely together without scarfing or chamfering; -- also called butt joint. The end of a connecting rod or other like piece, to which the boxing is attached by the strap, cotter, and gib. The portion of a half-coupling fastened to the end of a hose.

      9. ( Shipbuilding ) The joint where two planks in a strake meet.

      10. ( Carp. ) A kind of hinge used in hanging doors, etc.; -- so named because fastened on the edge of the door, which butts against the casing, instead of on its face, like the strap hinge; also called butt hinge.

      11. ( Leather Trade ) The thickest and stoutest part of tanned oxhides, used for soles of boots, harness, trunks.

      12. The hut or shelter of the person who attends to the targets in rifle practice.

      13. The buttocks; as, “get up off your butt and get to work”; -- used as a euphemism, less objectionable than ass. [slang]

      Syn. -- ass, rear end, derriere, behind, rump, heinie.

      Butt chain ( Saddlery ), a short chain attached to the end of a tug. -- Butt end. The thicker end of anything. See But end, under 2d But.

      Amen; and make me die a good old man!

      That's the butt end of a mother's blessing. Shak.

      A butt's length, the ordinary distance from the place of shooting to the butt, or mark. -- Butts and bounds ( Conveyancing ), abuttals and boundaries. In lands of the ordinary rectangular shape, butts are the lines at the ends ( F. bouts ), and bounds are those on the sides, or sidings, as they were formerly termed. Burrill. -- Bead and butt. See under Bead. -- Butt and butt, joining end to end without overlapping, as planks. -- Butt weld ( Mech. ), a butt joint, made by welding together the flat ends, or edges, of a piece of iron or steel, or of separate pieces, without having them overlap. See Weld. -- Full butt, headfirst with full force. [Colloq.] “The corporal . . . ran full butt at the lieutenant.” Marryat.

    7. Butt, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Butted; p. pr. & vb. n. Butting.] [OE. butten, OF. boter to push, F. bouter. See Butt an end, and cf. Boutade.]
      1. To join at the butt, end, or outward extremity; to terminate; to be bounded; to abut. [Written also but.]

      And Barnsdale there doth butt on Don's well-watered ground. Drayton.

      2. To thrust the head forward; to strike by thrusting the head forward, as an ox or a ram. [See Butt, n.]

      A snow-white steer before thine altar led,

      Butts with his threatening brows. Dryden.