WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
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).

adv. 
  • only;
    just: There is but one answer.

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



    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
    prep
    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
    adv
    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
    n
    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



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