• "They butted each other gently."
    "They butted each other gently."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adv but and nothing more "I was merely asking","it is simply a matter of time","just a scratch","he was only a child","hopes that last but a moment"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Neat but not gaudy Neat but not gaudy
No; but I saw a man sitting at the bottom of the hill No; but I saw a man sitting at the bottom of the hill
"I would be strikin' as Mercury, but I think I would be at my best as Apollo." "I would be strikin' as Mercury, but I think I would be at my best as Apollo."
"But it is so stylish, Samantha, and it only costs ten cents." "But it is so stylish, Samantha, and it only costs ten cents."
But the great fun of the evening But the great fun of the evening
The porcupine stood in the shade but the background was light The porcupine stood in the shade but the background was light

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Spiders usually have eight eyes, but still they cannot see that well
    • But (Mech) A joint where the ends of two objects come squarely together without scarfing or chamfering; -- also called butt joint.
    • But (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.
    • But 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."
    • But A limit; a boundary.
    • But A mark to be shot at; a target. "The groom his fellow groom at butts defies,
      And bends his bow, and levels with his eyes."
    • But 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."
    • But A piece of land left unplowed at the end of a field. "The hay was growing upon headlands and butts in cornfields."
    • But A push, thrust, or sudden blow, given by the head of an animal; as, the butt of a ram.
    • But A thrust in fencing. "To prove who gave the fairer butt ,
      John shows the chalk on Robert's coat."
    • But Except with; unless with; without. "So insolent that he could not go but either spurning equals or trampling on his inferiors.""Touch not the cat but a glove."
    • But Except; besides; save. "Who can it be, ye gods! but perjured Lycon?"
    • But 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."
    • But 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.""When pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the lowly is wisdom.""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."
    • But Only; solely; merely. "Observe but how their own principles combat one another.""If they kill us, we shall but die.""A formidable man but to his friends."
    • But 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.""There is no question but the king of Spain will reform most of the abuses."
    • v. i But See Butt v., and Abut v.
    • But The buttocks; as, get up off your butt and get to work; -- used as a euphemism, less objectionable than ass. "Amen; and make me die a good old man!
      That's the butt end of a mother's blessing."
    • But (Mech) The end of a connecting rod or other like piece, to which the boxing is attached by the strap, cotter, and gib.
    • But 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 The hut or shelter of the person who attends to the targets in rifle practice.
    • But (Shipbuilding) The joint where two planks in a strake meet.
    • But 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.
    • n But The outer apartment or kitchen of a two-roomed house; -- opposed to ben, the inner room.
    • But (Mech) The portion of a half-coupling fastened to the end of a hose.
    • But (Leather Trade) The thickest and stoutest part of tanned oxhides, used for soles of boots, harness, trunks.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: It's possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs.
    • but Outside; without; out.
    • but In or to the outer room of a cottage having a but and a ben: as, he was but a few minutes ago; he gaed but just now.
    • but Only; merely; just. See III.
    • but Outside of; without.—
    • but To the outside of.—
    • but To the outer apartment of: as, gae but the house.
    • but Without; not having; apart from.
    • but Except; besides; more than. [In this use generally preceded by a clause containing or implying a negation, and not easily separable from the conjunctional use, under which most of the examples fall. The conjunction, on the other hand, in some elliptical constructions assumes a prepositional phase, and in other constructions an adverbial phase. See below.]
    • but Except; unless: after a clause containing or implying a negation, and introducing the following clause, in which (the verb being usually omitted because implied in the preceding clause) but before the noun (subject or object of the omitted verb) comes to be regarded as a preposition governing the noun.
    • but The clause introduced by but (the apparent object of the qnasi-preposition) may be a single word, an infinitive or prepositional phrase, or a clause with that.
    • but By ellipsis of the subject of the clause introduced by but in this construction, but becomes equivalent to that … not or who … not.
    • but In this construction the negative, being implied in but, came to be omitted, especially in connection with the verbbe, in the principal clause, the construction “There is not but one God,” as in the first example, becoming “There is but one God,” leaving but as a quasi-adverb, ‘only, merely, simply.’ This use is also extended to constructions not originally negative.
    • but To the last two constructions, respectively, belong the idioms “I cannot but hope that,” etc., and “I can but hope that,” etc. The former has suffered ellipsis of the principal verb in the first clause: “I cannot do anything but hope,” or “anything else than hope,” or “otherwise than hope,” etc., implying constraint, in that there is an alternative which one is mentally unable or reluctant to accept, but being equivalent to otherwise than. The latter, “I can but hope that,” etc., has suffered further ellipsis of the negative, and, though historically the same as the former, is idiomatically different: “I can only hope that,” etc., implying restraint, in that there is no alternative or opportunity of action, but being equivalent to only, not otherwise than, or no more than.
    • but In an interrogative sentence implying a negative answer, can but is equivalent to cannot but in a declarative sentence.
    • but After doubt, or doubt not, and other expressions involving a negative, but may be used as after other negatives, but that being often used pleonastically for that.
    • but Hence the use of but with if or that, forming a unitary phrase but if, ‘unless, if not,’ but that, ‘except that, unless’ (these phrases having of course also their analytical meaning, with but in its adversative use).
    • but The phrase but that, often abbreviated to but, thus takes an extended meaning. If not; unless.
    • but Escept that, otherwise than that, that … not. After negative clauses.
    • but The negative clause is often represented by the single word not.
    • but An expletive what sometimes, but incorrectly, follows.
    • but After interrogative clauses implying a negative answer.
    • but After imperative or exclamatory clauses.
    • but Excepting or excluding the fact that; save that; were it not that; unless.
    • but However; yet; still; nevertheless; notwithstanding: introducing a statement in restriction or modification of the preceding statement.
    • but On the contrary; on the other hand: the regular adversative conjunction, introducing a clause in contrast with the preceding.
    • but The statement with which the clause with but is thus contrasted may be unexpressed, being implied in the context or supplied by the circumstances.
    • but Sometimes, instead of the statement with which the clause with but is contrasted, an exclamation of surprise, admiration, or other strong feeling precedes, the clause with but then expressing the ground of the feeling.
    • but Than: after comparatives. [This construction, once in good use, and still common, is now regarded as incorrect.]
    • but When. [This use arises out of the comparative construction, “not far, but …,” being equivalent to “not much further than …” See 4.]
    • but [By further ellipsis and idiomatic deflection but has in modern English developed a great variety of special and isolated uses derived from the preceding.] Synonyms However, Still, Nevertheless, etc. See however.
    • n but The outer room of a house consisting of only two rooms; the kitchen: the other room being the ben.
    • n but A flounder or plaice.
    • but See butt.
    • but See butt.
    • but Short for abut. See butt.
    • n but See butt.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The average person can live about a month without eating any food, but can only live about a week without water
    • prep., conj But but without: except: besides: only: yet: still
    • But Used as a noun for a verbal objection; also as a verb, as in Scott's 'but me no buts.'—adj. (Scot.) outside, as in 'but end.'—But and ben, a house having an outer and an inner room
    • n But but Same as Butt.
    • ***


  • W. C. Fields
    “Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    “He who is plenteously provided for from within, needs but little from without.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “Man can climb to the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long.”
  • Elton John
    Elton John
    “I want to do a musical movie. Like Evita, but with good music.”
  • Thomas Carlyle
    “Everywhere in life, the true question is not what we gain, but what we do.”
  • Benjamin Franklin
    “Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning.”


All but - If someone all but does something, they almost do it, but don't manage to.
Close but no cigar - (USA) If you are close but no cigar, you are close to success or the truth, but have not got there.
Deep pockets but short arms - Someone who has money but never puts his hand in his pocket to pay for anything has deep pockets but short arms.
Everything but the kitchen sink - If people include everything but the kitchen sink, they include every possibility, regardless of whether they are useful.
Grass may be greener on the other side but it's just as hard to mow - 'The grass may be greener on the other side but it's just as hard to mow' is an expression used to mean a person's desire to have that which another person has in the belief it will make their life easieris false as all situations come with their own set of problems.
I may be daft, but I'm not stupid - I might do or say silly things occasionally, but in this instance I know what I am doing (Usually used when someone questions your application of common-sense).
It never rains but it pours - 'It never rains but it pours' means that when things go wrong, they go very wrong.
No ifs or buts - Ifs and Buts is a term used to describe the reasons people give for not wanting to do something. To show that you don't wish to accept any excuses, you can tell somebody that you wish to hear no ifs or buts Here IF & BUT have become nouns
Not with a bang but a whimper - To end on a muted note - most likely in a situation where one would have expected a more spectacular finish. This expression was coined by T.S. Elliot in his 1925 poem, The Hollow Men, which ends: This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.
Opportunity knocks but once - This idiom means that you only get one chance to achieve what you really want to do.
Slow but sure - If something or someone is slow but sure, they may take their time to do something, but they are reliable.
Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak - If the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, someone lacks the willpower to change things they do because they derive too much pleasure from them.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me - To be resistant to criticism. This is often said to young children upset over the fact that another child called them something that they did not like.
What can you expect from a hog but a grunt? - (USA) This means that you can't expect people to behave in a way that is not in their character- a 'hog' is a 'pig', so an unrefined person can't be expected to behave in a refined way.
You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family - Some things you can choose, but others you cannot, so you have to try to make the best of what you have where you have no choice.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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


In literature:

He whispered to Tom, but Ross, listening as hard as he could, heard nothing but the rustling of the leaves and twigs before the wind.
"The Border Watch" by Joseph A. Altsheler
That she had resented his words was evident, but to that he had attached but little importance; now, however, all was different.
"The Day of Judgment" by Joseph Hocking
But there was nothing to do but go and he went.
"Black Oxen" by Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
Jack felt sorry for her, but confessed nothing, and did his best to persuade her to admit him, but found it a very hard task.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
But suddenly the mischief of her sex came dancing into her blood, and she could not help but plague the lad.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
But, alas, the god had intervened but to little purpose.
"Ralph the Heir" by Anthony Trollope
But the buck, seeing there was nothing but death in his rear, swam on, keeping almost in a direct line out into the lake.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
He looked up, but he saw no bird, no singer of the woods.
"The Riflemen of the Ohio" by Joseph A. Altsheler
His father at the time alluded to was still alive, but his son George had seen but little of him.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
But he spoke them not only with his lips, but with his whole self.
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford

In poetry:

"Sir, enjoy your fancy,
But spare me harm,
A lover is a lover,
Though but a worm."
"The Beacon" by Robert Graves
I ought not tell you,
but this moon
but this congac
gives us heartache like the devil.
"Seven-Sided Poem" by Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Up here the sun sings, but
He only shines there!
Ye haena nae wings, but
Come up on a prayer.
"The Laverock" by George MacDonald
Gone were but the Winter,
Come were but the Spring,
I would go to a covert
Where the birds sing;
"Spring Quiet" by Christina Georgina Rossetti
But on I drove in splendor,
I—that was but a maid—
With piercing calls of triumph
And I was not afraid.
"The Warrior Maid" by Anna Hempstead Branch
But if it be not and I lose
All that men live to gain--
I who have little known but hues
Of wind and rain--
"At The Helm" by Cale Young Rice

In news:

"But when you mention something like Bosnia people have responded, yeah, but she went to Bosnia, for example, with Sinbad .".
Hollywood's hottest stars are famous for dieting and exercising their way too hot bodies, but sometimes they take their skinny obsession too far -- resulting in a scary skinny look that is anything but sexy.
Halloween is still over 2 months away, but I can't help but get excited.
It was also expected to be close, but the Navasota Rattlers made sure it was anything but.
Some of the oldies-but-goodies reappearing for lunch include the vegetarian red bean soup, SNOB 's take on pad Thai, and the mighty chicken burrito for the "small but passionate following" that Marconi remembers.
There are many flaws, but perhaps the worst is not even what Venkatesh did as a graduate student in perhaps the most prestigious sociology department in the country, but his commentary on and lame excuses for his own behavior as a researcher.
From 60 feet, nothing but nylon but it's a somersault shot put shot.
That's only $50 more than the Jawbone Big Jambox (a more portable, but much smaller and less-capable product) and the Audyssey Wireless Speakers (a product with similar functionality but no remote and a relatively uninspired design).
But 100 years ago the Olympics included not just sports, but art.
It defies explanation, but it's a beautifully strange tone poem, part fable, part lyrical journey, but certainly dripping with emotion.
But here's what's really strange : In it, he directs his ire not at ESPN, but at Fox & Friends.
But I also can't help but think about superstitions in sports.
At Mas in the West Village, the room is low-key -- like a chic barn -- but the service is anything but laid back.
What really defines a city's food scene is not its four-star restaurants but its most plebeian cuisine—the glorified street fare that no one thinks about but everyone eats.
A trip out to Terrain in Glen Mills is always magical but this Saturday's Autumn Bounty Festival promises to be nothing but pure Fall-forward elegance.

In science:

Now the functions A(z) and B (z) are not assumed to be holomorphic, but in compensation F and G are required to be Hilbert spaces (for simplicity we have taken K to be a Hilbert space also, but this plays no role in the argument).
A note on interpolation in the generalized Schur class
In particular, the dimension of the spaces of conformal blocks is equal to the rank of the vector bundle, so it depends only on the genus g of the curve (but not on the specific holomorphic structure), on the number m of insertions (but not on their positions), and on the labels ~λ.
Conformal field theory, boundary conditions and applications to string theory
For a spike with very large L but a small radius r ≪ 1/T L the energy cost is small but the spike is very long.
M(atrix) Theory: Matrix Quantum Mechanics as a Fundamental Theory
It may seem that we have missed the possibility of changing of the orientations of the axes but we have already remarked that the orientations effect only representation of the group in SL(2, C) but not isometries themselves.
Singular sets and parameters of generalized triangle orbifolds
The main (but not the only) contributor to this nonuniqueness is the mass disk degeneracy, which makes the lens mass profile steeper while making the Universe smaller but keeps image and time-delay data the same.
Beware the Non-uniqueness of Einstein Rings