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

Polish the silver and ring the butler bells, for the Downton Abbey movie trailer has arrived in all of its aristocratic glory. Vogue, "The Downton Abbey Movie Trailer Is Here, and It's Royally Dramatic," 21 May 2019 This is in keeping with reports that Meghan Markle is an independent, free-thinking person in all aspects of her life—just ask Princess Diana's former butler. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Reportedly Looking for a (Potentially Male) American Nanny," 17 Apr. 2019 Princess Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, weighed in on Meghan's independent attitude in an interview with Us Weekly. Marie Claire, "Princess Diana's Butler, Paul Burrell, Says Meghan Markle "Speaks Her Mind" and Isn't a "Yes Person"," 14 Apr. 2019 The couple stayed in the Long Room, a £10,000-a-night residence that includes an outdoor terrace, working fireplaces, a personal butler, and more amenities. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Reportedly Took a Luxe Babymoon in the Countryside," 4 Apr. 2019 Beyond stunning vistas and extreme isolation, Miavana also offers an abundance of material comforts: personal butlers, a sommelier, chefs from South Africa who serve prime zebu meat (a species of local cattle). Tom Downey, WSJ, "Exploring Madagascar Is Now Easier Than Ever," 18 July 2018 The oven is tucked inside a butler’s pantry, allowing for a chef to tend to work out of the view of guests in the living room. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: Tony Hulman signed deals here. John Mellencamp lived here. Now you can, too.," 2 Feb. 2018 The top-tier villa also includes private balconies, three, four-passenger gold carts, a car, daily breakfast, and personal butler, bartender, and even packing and even unpacking services, Architectural Digest reported. Neesha Arter, ELLE Decor, "Inside Casa de Campo, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez's Dreamy Vacation Villa," 24 Apr. 2017 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

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

25 May 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).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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