but then

idiom

Definition of but then

1 used to introduce a statement that adds another and different thought to a preceding statement I'm surprised to hear that Tom has left the army. But then I suppose he never was the type to obey orders. sometimes used to introduce an explanation for something His cakes are amazing—but then he did study with some of the best pastry chefs in the world.
2 used to introduce a statement that tells about something different or surprising that happened next The team won the first two games, but then failed to win any of the next five.

Learn More About but then

Dictionary Entries Near but then

butt-headed

but then

butt hinge

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for but then

Cite this Entry

“But then.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/but%20then. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!