but·​ler | \ ˈbət-lər How to pronounce butler (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Butler (audio) \

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

Princess Diana's former butler has weighed in before about the relationship between the two royals—that story here. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Had a Great Reason for Missing Meghan Markle's Baby Shower," 21 Feb. 2019 Photo: The Connaught The Mews The Connaught’s new private townhouse comes with a dedicated butler and loaner Burberry raincoats. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, "Mayfair, a Posh London Neighborhood, Gets Edgier," 16 Aug. 2018 Former royal butler Grant Harrold notes that taking the lead ahead of the Queen is considered a big no-no, according to Business Insider. Eileen Reslen, Harper's BAZAAR, "Did Donald Trump Break Royal Protocol by Walking in Front of the Queen and Not Bowing?," 13 July 2018 There's a private indoor pool, for instance, as well as 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, an 18-seat cinema, a chef, a butler, and an expansive living room bedecked with rare art. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "The Best Room At...Straffan House Dublin," 27 Apr. 2018 Its 100 suites, all with butler service and private balconies, take care of the luxury part. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 Practical tools such as a coffeemaker, knives and a blender are hidden in a butler’s pantry. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "A Perfectionist Architect’s Experimental Home," 27 Dec. 2018 Built-ins fill the walls in the office/den, and a butler’s pantry connects the dining room and kitchen area. Neal J. Leitereg, The Seattle Times, "Joe Jonas hopes sale will be a piece of cake," 21 Aug. 2018 That steep rate gets them not only high-end accommodations, but also access private butler, a chef, and access to a private garden. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber Spend Vacation in Private Italian Villa," 22 Sep. 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

2 Mar 2019

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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 How to pronounce butler (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on butler

What made you want to look up butler? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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