but then

idiom

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.

Examples of but then in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Hindu mythology, a serpent god, Rahu Ketu, wanted to eat the sun — but then his head was cut off. Bill Chappell, NPR, 8 Apr. 2024 Such propaganda campaigns work for a few weeks, but then the conversation around this topic on social media becomes negative, and the Kremlin tries to drive it up again. Peter Pomerantsev, TIME, 6 Apr. 2024 Fans had been speculating about it for years, particularly after the Wachowskis came out as trans, but then one of them finally said it. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, 5 Apr. 2024 The Heat rode a dynamic stretch from Jimmy Butler and four reserves to pull ahead in the fourth but then unraveled offensively late, going nearly six minutes without a point. Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, 5 Apr. 2024 According to reports, the victim gave Carter the shoes but then reached into the car and took one of the shoes back. Stepheny Price, Fox News, 27 Mar. 2024 Like why does someone reach out via Facebook but then want to talk further on Instagram? Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 26 Mar. 2024 To ask voters to civically participate but then take away much of their authority in the zoning process would be wrong, Orsborn said. Taylor Seely, The Arizona Republic, 15 Mar. 2024 In the end, neither exactly seems worthy of Sophie, but then the lesson here is that there was never really a contest. Lisa Kennedy, Variety, 14 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'but then.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near but then

Cite this Entry

“But then.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/but%20then. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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