1

but

play
conjunction \ˈbət\

Definition of but

  1. 1a :  except for the fact would have protested but that he was afraidb :  that —used after a negative there is no doubt but he wonc :  without the concomitant that it never rains but it poursd :  if not :  unlesse :  than no sooner started but it stopped —not often in formal use

  2. 2a :  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 swordb :  yet poor but proudc :  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

Definition of but

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

  2. 2 Scotland a :  without, lackingb :  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?

Origin and Etymology of but

see 1but


First Known Use: before 12th century


3

but

adverb

Definition of but

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

  2. 2 Scotland :  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

Origin and Etymology of but

see 1but


First Known Use: 13th century


4

but

pronoun

Definition of but

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

Origin and Etymology of but

see 1but


First Known Use: circa 1518


5

but

noun

Definition of but

Scotland

  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 English Language Learners

but

play
conjunction

Definition of but for English Language Learners

  • —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.

but

preposition

Definition of but for English Language Learners

  • : other than (something or someone)

but

noun

Definition of but for English Language Learners

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


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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