WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
but1 /bʌt; unstressed bət/USA pronunciation   conj. 
  1. on the contrary: My brother went, but I did not.
  2. and yet;
    nevertheless: The story is strange but true (= The story is strange and yet it is true).
  3. except: She did nothing but complain (= She did nothing except that she complained).
  4. otherwise than: There is no hope but through prayer (= There is no hope other than the hope of prayer).
  5. 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).
  6. that (used esp. after words like doubt, deny, etc., with a negative word like not): I don't doubt but you'll do it.
  7. (used to show a feeling of happiness, shock, or surprise about something): But that's wonderful! But that's amazing!
  8. Informal. than: It no sooner started raining but it stopped.
  9. with the exception of: No one replied but me. Everyone but John was there.
  10. other than: She is nothing but trouble (= She is nothing other than trouble;
    she is a lot of trouble).

  1. only;
    just: There is but one answer.

  1. buts, [plural] objections: You'll do as you're told, no buts about it.
  1. 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).

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
but1  (but; unstressed bət),USA pronunciation conj. 
  1. on the contrary;
    yet:My brother went, but I did not.
  2. except;
    save:She was so overcome with grief she could do nothing but weep.
  3. unless;
    if not;
    except that (fol. by a clause, often with that expressed):Nothing would do but that I should come in.
  4. without the circumstance that:It never rains but it pours.
  5. otherwise than:There is no hope but by prayer.
  6. that (used esp. after doubt, deny, etc., with a negative):I don't doubt but he will do it.
  7. who not;
    that not:No leaders worthy of the name ever existed but they were optimists.
  8. (used as an intensifier to introduce an exclamatory expression):But she's beautiful!
  9. [Informal.]than:It no sooner started raining but it stopped.
  10. but what. See  what (def. 31).

  1. with the exception of;
    save:No one replied but me.

  1. only;
    just:There is but one God.
  2. but for, except for;
    were it not for:But for the excessive humidity, it might have been a pleasant day.

  1. buts, reservations or objections:You'll do as you're told, no buts about it.
  • Middle English buten, Old English būtan for phrase be ūtan on the outside, without. See by, out bef. 900
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged 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 corresponding entry in Unabridged See  except 1.
    1. But, like and, 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 or so, 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. When but 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. 

but2  (but),USA pronunciation n. [Scot.]
  1. Scottish Termsthe outer or front room of a house;
    the outer or front apartment in an apartment house.
  2. 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

but3  (but),USA pronunciation 
  • butt5.

  • Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    but /bʌt; (unstressed) bət/ conj (coordinating)
    1. contrary to expectation: he cut his knee but didn't cry
    2. in contrast; on the contrary: I like opera but my husband doesn't
    3. (usually used after a negative) other than: we can't do anything but wait
    conj (subordinating)
    1. (usually used after a negative) without it happening or being the case that: we never go out but it rains
    2. (followed by that) except that: nothing is impossible but that we live forever
    3. archaic if not; unless
    sentence connector
    1. informal used to introduce an exclamation: my, but you're nice
    1. except; save: they saved all but one of the pigs
    2. but forwere it not for: but for you, we couldn't have managed
    1. just; merely; only: he was but a child, I can but try
    2. Scot Austral NZ informal though; however: it's a rainy day: warm, but
    3. all butalmost; practically: he was all but dead when we found him
    1. an objection (esp in the phrase ifs and buts)
    Etymology: Old English būtan without, outside, except, from be by + ūtan out; related to Old Saxon biūtan, Old High German biūzan
    but /bʌt/ Scot n
    1. the outer room of a two-roomed cottage: usually the kitchen
    prep , adv
    1. in or into the outer part (of a house)
      Compare ben
    Etymology: 18th Century: from but (adv) outside, hence, outer room; see but1

    'but' also found in these entries:

    Forum discussions with the word(s) "but" in the title:

    Look up "but" at Merriam-Webster
    Look up "but" at dictionary.com

    In other languages: Spanish | French | Italian | Portuguese | Romanian | German | Dutch | Swedish | Russian | Polish | Czech | Greek | Turkish | Chinese | Japanese | Korean | Arabic


    Word of the day: joke | drape


    Report an inappropriate ad.
    Become a WordReference Supporter to view the site ad-free.