- any diurnal insect of the order Lepidoptera that has a slender body with clubbed antennae and typically rests with the wings (which are often brightly coloured) closed over the back
- a person who never settles with one group, interest, or occupation for long
- a swimming stroke in which the arms are plunged forward together in large circular movements
- the simultaneous purchase and sale of traded call options, at different exercise prices or with different expiry dates, on a stock exchange or commodity market
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
- Insectsa flying insect that has a slender body and broad wings.
- one who wanders aimlessly from one interest to another: a social butterfly.
- Informal Termsbutterflies, [plural] Informal. a nervous feeling, as from anxiety:The butterflies vanish once I start my talk.
- Sporta racing breaststroke in which the swimmer brings both arms out of the water in forward, circular motions and kicks the legs up and down together.
- Insectsany of numerous diurnal insects of the order Lepidoptera, characterized by clubbed antennae, a slender body, and large, broad, often conspicuously marked wings.
- a person who flits aimlessly from one interest or group to another:a social butterfly.
- Informal Termsbutterflies, (used with a pl. v.)a queasy feeling, as from nervousness, excitement, etc.
- Sporta racing breaststroke, using a dolphin kick, in which the swimmer brings both arms out of the water in forward, circular motions.
- Building[Carpentry.]See butterfly wedge.
- Fine Art[Sculpture.]an
X-shaped support attached to an armature.
- Furnitureone of the swinging brackets of a butterfly table.
- Cinema, Show Business[Motion Pictures.]a screen of scrim, gauze, or similar material, for diffusing light.
- Food[Cookery.]to slit open and spread apart to resemble the spread wings of a butterfly.
adj. Also, butterflied.
- Food[Cookery.]split open and spread apart to resemble a butterfly:butterfly shrimp; butterfly steak.
- Middle English boterflye, Old English buttorflēoge. See butter, fly2 bef. 1000