WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
but1 /bʌt; unstressed bət/USA pronunciation
conj. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
- 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).
(but; unstressed bət), conj.
with the exception of; except;
- on the contrary;
yet:My brother went, but I did not.
- except; save:She was so overcome with grief she could do nothing but weep.
except that (fol. by a clause, often with that expressed):Nothing would do but that I should come in.
- without the circumstance that:It never rains but it pours.
- otherwise than:There is no hope but by prayer.
- that (used esp. after doubt, deny, etc., with a negative):I don't doubt but he will do it.
- who not; that not:No leaders worthy of the name ever existed but they were optimists.
- (used as an intensifier to introduce an exclamatory expression):But she's beautiful!
- [Informal.]than:It no sooner started raining but it stopped.
- but what. See what (def. 31).
save:No one replied but me.
just:There is but one God.
but for, except for; were it not for:But for the excessive humidity, it might have been a pleasant day.
buts, reservations or objections:You'll do as you're told, no buts about it.
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 except 1.
usage'> 1 . But,
- Middle English buten, Old English būtan for phrase be ūtan on the outside, without. See by, out bef. 900
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
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, 11 .
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.
(but), n. [Scot.]
- Scottish Termsthe outer or front room of a house;
the outer or front apartment in an apartment house.
- Scottish Termsthe kitchen of a two-room dwelling, esp. of a cottage.
- noun, nominal use of but1 (adverb, adverbial) outside, outside the house 1715–25
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
but /bʌt; (unstressed) bət/ conj (coordinating)
- contrary to expectation: he cut his knee but didn't cry
- in contrast; on the contrary: I like opera but my husband doesn't
- (usually used after a negative) other than: we can't do anything but wait
- (usually used after a negative) without it happening or being the case that: we never go out but it rains
- (followed by that) except that: nothing is impossible but that we live forever
- archaic if not; unless
- informal used to introduce an exclamation: my, but you're nice
- except; save: they saved all but one of the pigs
- but for ⇒ were it not for: but for you, we couldn't have managed
- just; merely; only: he was but a child, I can but try
- Scot Austral NZ informal though; however: it's a rainy day: warm, but
- all but ⇒ almost; practically: he was all but dead when we found him
Etymology: Old English būtan without, outside, except, from be by + ūtan out; related to Old Saxon biūtan, Old High German biūzan
- an objection (esp in the phrase ifs and buts)
but /bʌt/ Scot n
prep , adv
- the outer room of a two-roomed cottage: usually the kitchen
Etymology: 18th Century: from but (adv) outside, hence, outer room; see but1
- in or into the outer part (of a house)
'but' also found in these entries:
... but I was at my grandmother's place at the time.
... but it remains a Cinderella
... but rather as the cheapest one...
... but, because ...
... summer but, after 17 games...
... was shut because of flooding last night but has since reopened,
..., but in the event we were early.
..., but those still in use and those long abandoned
...,but declined to be guaranteed from drowning ...
...; but... - but after a semicolon
......They were chained up, but the thieves lift the whole thing into a van and drive off.
...and therefore but indifferently accommodated...
...as anything but
...but also economically
...but also less developed ...
...but although he was only 22, he was a person who had a great mission.
...but BOY, can she climb a tree now
...but for which no medication event is planned...
...but that too much had been said already.
...but the impact he had in the sixties and (the) seventies was incredible.
...did he but know it...
...hasn’t changed but for...
...is nothing but to do/ doing
...no longer fiction but the common lifestyle of numerous...
...wasn't sure but what...
..is not merely because of my curiosity, but because of/but
more...Look up "but" at Merriam-WebsterLook up "but" at dictionary.com
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