but·​ler | \ˈbət-lər \

Definition of butler 

(Entry 1 of 6)

1 : a manservant having charge of the wines and liquors

2 : the chief male servant of a household who has charge of other employees, receives guests, directs the serving of meals, and performs various personal services


biographical name (1)
But·​ler | \ˈbət-lər \

Definition of Butler (Entry 2 of 6)

Benjamin Franklin 1818–1893 American general and politician


biographical name (2)

Definition of Butler (Entry 3 of 6)

Joseph 1692–1752 English theologian


biographical name (3)

Definition of Butler (Entry 4 of 6)

Nicholas Murray 1862–1947 American educator; president Columbia University (1901–45)


biographical name (4)

Definition of Butler (Entry 5 of 6)

Samuel 1612–1680 English satirical poet


biographical name (5)

Definition of Butler (Entry 6 of 6)

Samuel 1835–1902 English novelist and satirist

Examples of butler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Paul Burrell, who once served as Princess Diana’s royal butler, believes Meghan Markle has a rough future ahead of her as Britain’s new Duchess of Sussex. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Meghan Markle will struggle with royal life, warns Diana's butler: 'She should be careful what she wishes for'," 3 Aug. 2018 The survey found robots butlers had a more favorable reaction than machine chauffeurs. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Drones of Tomorrow Have a Data Problem," 11 May 2017 Even though the house’s reclaimed wood might make history lovers swoon, modern amenities like a sauna, gear shed, and spacious butler’s pantry point to thoughtful design. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Granite and timber home in the forest asks $798K," 19 Oct. 2018 Then there was British pop star Robbie Williams, who allegedly used Jane Seymour's house,The Guardian reported, and even hired butlers to appear in the episode. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "5 Times MTV Cribs Totally Lied To Us," 27 Aug. 2018 My butler returned with a bottle of champagne and a plate of crimson watermelon. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Staying on the Cruise Ship Can Sometimes Beat Sightseeing," 15 June 2018 Each guest is given a mobile phone to communicate with their butler, who is always available to assist. Jessi Walker, Marie Claire, "Weekend Travel Guide to Saint Lucia," 11 June 2018 The butler, who slept in an adjacent cottage, had quickly confirmed that there was no one inside. David Usborne, Town & Country, "The Mysterious Case of the Parnham House Fire," 29 May 2018 Courtside seats to the Brooklyn Nets (worth $225,00), a live-in butler, private chef, and a year’s worth of weekly dinners for two at the flagship restaurant of Michelin star chef Daniel Boulud. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Buy This Manhattan Penthouse, Get a Free Trip To Outer Space," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'butler.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of butler


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for butler


Middle English buteler, from Anglo-French butiller, from Old French botele bottle — more at bottle

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Statistics for butler

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for butler

The first known use of butler was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for butler



English Language Learners Definition of butler

: the main male servant in the home of a wealthy person


but·​ler | \ˈbət-lər \

Kids Definition of butler

: the chief male servant of a household

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More from Merriam-Webster on butler

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with butler

Spanish Central: Translation of butler

Nglish: Translation of butler for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of butler for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about butler

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