noun \ˈbyüt\

: a type of hill with a flat top and steep sides that is found in the southwestern U.S.

Full Definition of BUTTE

:  an isolated hill or mountain with steep or precipitous sides usually having a smaller summit area than a mesa

Origin of BUTTE

French, knoll, from Middle French bute
First Known Use: 1805

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale


geographical name \ˈbyüt\

Definition of BUTTE

city SW Montana in plateau of Rockies pop 32,996


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

(French: “hillock” or “rising ground”) Flat-topped hill surrounded by a steep cliff, from the bottom of which a slope descends to the plain. The term is sometimes used for an elevation higher than a hill but not high enough to be a mountain. Buttes topped by horizontal platforms of hard rock are characteristic of the arid plateau region of the western U.S. A butte is similar to a mesa but generally smaller; both are created by erosional processes.


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