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, 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 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about butler

Statistics for butler

Last Updated

27 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for butler

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!