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1

but

play
conjunction \ˈbət\

Simple Definition of but

  • —used to introduce a statement that adds something to a previous statement and usually contrasts with it in some way

  • : other than

  • —used in speech at the beginning of a sentence that expresses surprise, shock, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of but

  1. 1 a :  except for the fact <would have protested but that he was afraid> b :  that —used after a negative <there is no doubt but he won> c :  without the concomitant that <it never rains but it pours> d :  if not :  unless e :  than <no sooner started but it stopped> —not often in formal use

  2. 2 a :  on the contrary :  on the other hand :  notwithstanding —used to connect coordinate elements <he was called but he did not answer> <not peace but a sword> b :  yet <poor but proud> c :  with the exception of —used before a word often taken to be the subject of a clause <none but the brave deserves the fair — John Dryden>

but that

  1. :  that —used after a negative <there is no doubt but that it must be done>

but what

  1. :  that … not —used to indicate possibility or uncertainty <I don't know but what I will go>

Examples of but in a sentence

  1. We had no choice but to leave.

  2. They've done nothing but argue all afternoon.



Origin and Etymology of but

Middle English, from Old English būtan, preposition & conjunction, outside, without, except, except that; akin to Old High German būzan without, except; akin to Old English be by, ūt out — more at by, out


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

but

preposition

Simple Definition of but

  • : other than (something or someone)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of but

  1. 1 a :  with the exception of :  barring <no one there but me> — compare 1but 2c b :  other than <this letter is nothing but an insult>

  2. 2 Scottish a :  without, lacking b :  outside

Examples of but in a sentence

  1. There was no one there but him.

  2. I didn't tell anyone but my sister.

  3. Who but you would think that?



Before 12th Century

First Known Use of but

before 12th century


3

but

adverb

Definition of but

  1. 1 :  only, merely <he is but a child>

  2. 2 Scottish :  outside

  3. 3 :  to the contrary <who knows but that she may succeed>

  4. 4 —used as an intensive <get there but fast>



Examples of but in a sentence

  1. They have but two weeks to get ready.

  2. <she is but a child and too young to understand such things>



12th Century

First Known Use of but

12th century


4

but

pronoun

Definition of but

  1. :  that not :  who not <nobody but has his fault — Shakespeare>



1556

First Known Use of but

1556


5

but

noun

Simple Definition of but

  • : a reason someone gives for not doing or agreeing with something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of but

Scottish

  1. :  the kitchen or living quarters of a 2-room cottage

Origin and Etymology of but

Scots but, adjective (outer)


First Known Use: 1724



BUT Defined for Kids

1

but

play
conjunction \bət\

Definition of but for Students

  1. 1 :  yet nevertheless <She fell but wasn't hurt.> <He was poor but proud.>

  2. 2 :  while just the opposite <I ski but you don't.>

  3. 3 :  except that :  unless <It never rains but it pours.>




2

but

play
preposition

Definition of but for Students

  1. :  other than :  except <everyone but you>




3

but

play
adverb

Definition of but for Students

  1. :  2only 1 <We have but one choice.>





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