but1 /bʌt; unstressed bət/USA pronunciation
- on the contrary: My brother went, but I did not.
- and yet;
nevertheless: The story is strange but true (= The story is strange and yet it is true).
- except: She did nothing but complain (= She did nothing except that she complained).
- otherwise than: There is no hope but through prayer (= There is no hope other than the hope of prayer).
- without the (additional) circumstance that: It never rains but it pours (= It never rains without also pouring). No leaders ever existed but they were optimists (= No leaders existed who were not optimists;
All leaders who ever existed were optimists).
- that (used esp. after words like doubt, deny, etc., with a negative word like not): I don't doubt but you'll do it.
- (used to show a feeling of happiness, shock, or surprise about something): But that's wonderful! But that's amazing!
- Informal. than: It no sooner started raining but it stopped.
- with the exception of: No one replied but me. Everyone but John was there.
- other than: She is nothing but trouble (= She is nothing other than trouble;
she is a lot of trouble).
just: There is but one answer.
buts, [plural] objections: You'll do as you're told, no buts about it.
- Idiomsbut for, except for;
were it not for;
if something had not happened or existed:We would still be prisoners there but for the daring rescue by the commandos (= We would still be prisoners if the daring rescue had not happened).