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).
only; 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).
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.
unless; if not; 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).
with the exception of; except; save:No one replied but me.
only; 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.
Middle English buten, Old English būtan for phrase be ūtan on the outside, without. See by,out bef. 900
1.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 except1.1.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), 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