: an isolated hill or mountain with steep or precipitous sides usually having a smaller summit area than a mesa

Examples of butte in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dramatic red rock geologic formations, sandstone buttes and wide-open spaces have provided ample backdrops and artistic inspiration for legendary filmmakers throughout the decades. Kathy A. McDonald, Variety, 12 Jan. 2024 The red rock buttes here are said to house mysterious cosmic forces that are conducive to healing and self-exploration. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 28 Dec. 2023 Sedona is known for its famous red rock buttes, and the sun’s setting rays make the vibrant colors of the landscape glow against the deepening blue of the desert sky. Melissa Locker, Travel + Leisure, 17 Dec. 2023 See the steep slopes, layered buttes, and dark rocks surrounding Curiosity while it was parked below Gediz Vallis Ridge, which formed as a result of violent debris flows that were later eroded by wind into a towering formation. IEEE Spectrum, 22 Sep. 2023 Hole-in-the-Rock Trail This rounded, red-hued butte in Papago Park is a Phoenix landmark. Jeff Ficker, Travel + Leisure, 7 Sep. 2023 They are currently involved in projects on Cabo’s East Cape, a 120-acre farm in Wisconsin, a 200-acre butte in northern Arizona, a 400-acre ranch near Baja Sur's Todos Santos, and beyond. Nick Kasmik, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2023 The most compelling photos acknowledge human intervention: Bob Burgess observes irrigated crop fields in Florida, and Clara Young Kim spies two tiny cows beneath a massive sandstone butte in Utah. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2023 Arizona’s Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Fifty million years of Mother Nature’s hard work have left sandstone mesas and buttes that can be neither adequately described nor suitably photographed. People Staff, Peoplemag, 18 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'butte.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, knoll, from Middle French bute

First Known Use

1805, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of butte was in 1805

Dictionary Entries Near butte

Cite this Entry

“Butte.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/butte. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a hill with steep sides standing in a flat area

Geographical Definition


geographical name

city in southwestern Montana on a plateau in the Rockies population 32,996

More from Merriam-Webster on butte

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