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butter Line breaks: but¦ter
Pronunciation: /ˈbʌtə/

Definition of butter in English:


[mass noun]
A pale yellow edible fatty substance made by churning cream and used as a spread or in cooking.
Example sentences
  • They are served hot or cold spread with butter or margarine and sometimes jelly jam and cream.
  • We defined high fat dairy food as whole milk, ice cream, hard cheese, butter, and sour cream.
  • Dairy products such as butter, cream, and cheese are important parts of the diet, along with pork.


[with object] Back to top  
Spread (something) with butter: Lily buttered a slice of toast (as adjective buttered) lavishly buttered bread
More example sentences
  • Apryl half-heartedly smiled back as she picked up a slice of toast and buttered it.
  • Janice had made her two slices of toast and buttered them, and set them on the counter by the door, wrapped in a paper towel.
  • She said: ‘I was buttering a piece of bread and I just dropped what I was doing.’


look as if butter wouldn't melt in one's mouth
informal Appear gentle or innocent while typically being the opposite.
Example sentences
  • At home, he's placid and gentle and happy and looks as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.
  • Because, while he may often look as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, underneath the boyish appearance and the trappings of trendiness, there is a genuinely steely determination that has to be admired.
  • For all they look as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, they're an un-Christian lot.

Phrasal verbs

butter someone up
informal Flatter or otherwise ingratiate oneself with someone.
Example sentences
  • ‘Magic Valley's industrial dairies try to butter us up with sweet talk and promises,’ the ad begins, ‘but the reality is as different as milk and molasses.’
  • His strategy now is to frustrate Dookeran, muzzle Yetming and see if Jack can be buttered up.
  • ‘See, he phones people just to say hello, but he's only buttering you up so he can ask you favours later,’ he continued.
be obsequious towards, grovel to, be servile towards, be sycophantic towards, kowtow to, abase oneself to, demean oneself to, bow and scrape to, prostrate oneself to, toady to, truckle to, dance attendance on, fawn on, make up to, play up to, ingratiate oneself with, rub up the right way, curry favour with;
wheedle, flatter, court, persuade, blarney, coax, talk into, get round, prevail on
informal suck up to, crawl to, creep to, be all over, lick someone's boots, fall all over, keep someone sweet, sweet-talk, soft-soap
North American  brown-nose
archaic blandish




Old English butere, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch boter and German Butter, based on Latin butyrum, from Greek bouturon.

Words that rhyme with butter

abutter, aflutter, Calcutta, clutter, constructor, cutter, declutter, flutter, gutter, mutter, nutter, scutter, shutter, splutter, sputter, strutter, stutter, utter
Definition of butter in:
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