WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2014
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.
- but 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).
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:
In the English description: