butter

noun
but·​ter | \ ˈbə-tər How to pronounce butter (audio) \

Definition of butter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a solid emulsion of fat globules, air, and water made by churning milk or cream and used as food
2 : a buttery substance: such as
a : any of various fatty oils remaining nearly solid at ordinary temperatures
b : a creamy food spread especially : one made of ground roasted nuts peanut butter
3 : flattery

butter

verb
buttered; buttering; butters

Definition of butter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to spread with or as if with butter

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from butter

Noun

butterless \ ˈbə-​tər-​ləs How to pronounce butterless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of butter in a Sentence

Noun

Would you like some butter for your potato? Sauté the onions in melted butter.

Verb

butter a piece of bread
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Kismet crew rolls a well-kneaded, rested and chilled dough into thin sheets before smearing it with tempered butter. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: The science behind a feast of flavor pairings at Kismet in Los Angeles," 12 July 2019 Also include anti-inflammatory, satiety-inducing fats that are good for circulation, like avocado and avocado oil; extra virgin olive oil and olives; nuts; seeds; and nut/seed butters. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "The Zero Carb Diet May Be a Simple Way to Lose Weight—But Is It Safe?," 8 July 2019 Shellfish that can contain the toxins include clams, mussels, oysters, geoducks, cockles and crab viscera, known as crab butter. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Eating shellfish you’ve harvested yourself is risky - and can be deadly," 6 July 2019 Brush half the butter onto the outer sides of your buns. CBS News, "The Dish: Luke Holden of Luke's Lobster shares his signature recipes," 6 July 2019 In a small saucepot, combine butter and garlic and warm gently. 19. National Geographic, "Braised Goat Leg & Shoulder," 2 July 2019 Banana bacon peanut butter speaks to Indiana excess, while the fireside s’mores flavor recalls family cook-outs that stretch into firefly nights. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Westfield's new ice cream shop puts an entire sugar cream pie in ice cream," 2 July 2019 And the roasted baby yams are a delight, tossed with a smoky brown butter and ancho chile vinaigrette before being plied with the sweet sting of i’itoi onions. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The best restaurants in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley," 1 July 2019 Despite some austerity when oil prices collapsed, the kingdom is spending heavily on guns and butter. Lauren Silva Laughlin, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Can’t Earn Its Way Out of Trouble," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lightly butter each bun and toast until golden brown. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pulled chicken BBQ on a toasted bun," 18 June 2019 Although that's high praise coming from the Maroon 5 frontman, Blake stepped in to butter him up even more. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The Voice's John Legend Was Not Happy When Jej Vinson Picked Kelly Clarkson as His Coach," 5 Mar. 2019 My favorite combination is buttered sourdough toast with a sprinkle of salt! Wine & Food Experience, USA TODAY, "Q&A with Chopped and Iron Chef star Alex Guarnaschelli," 10 June 2019 Serve these lobster rolls in a toasted, buttered bun with crisp lettuce for the ultimate summer sandwich. Kate Merker And Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Classic Lobster Rolls," 22 May 2019 Place them, buttered sides down, in the skillet or on the cooking grates to toast for 2 to 3 minutes total. Jim Shahin, charlotteobserver, "The best way to grill a burger keeps it off the grate," 6 July 2018 Place them, buttered sides down, in the skillet or on the cooking grates to toast for 2 to 3 minutes total. Jim Shahin, charlotteobserver, "The best way to grill a burger keeps it off the grate," 6 July 2018 Add squash to butter mixture; toss to combine. Arrange squash on baking sheets in single layer. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "How to Cook Acorn Squash With Maple-Bacon Drizzle," 21 Nov. 2018 Place them, buttered sides down, in the skillet or on the cooking grates to toast for 2 to 3 minutes total. Jim Shahin, charlotteobserver, "The best way to grill a burger keeps it off the grate," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'butter.' 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 butter

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for butter

Noun

Middle English, from Old English butere, from Latin butyrum, from Greek boutyron, from bous cow + tyros cheese; akin to Avestan tūiri- curds — more at cow

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for butter

butter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of butter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a solid yellow substance made from milk or cream that is spread on food or used in cooking
: a food made from cooked fruit or roasted nuts that have been ground up

butter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of butter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to spread or put butter on (something)

butter

noun
but·​ter | \ ˈbə-tər How to pronounce butter (audio) \

Kids Definition of butter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a solid yellowish fatty food obtained from cream or milk by churning
2 : a food that is made of cooked and crushed nuts or fruit and that can be spread apple butter peanut butter

butter

verb
buttered; buttering

Kids Definition of butter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to spread with or as if with butter

butter

noun
but·​ter | \ ˈbət-ər How to pronounce butter (audio) \

Medical Definition of butter

1 : a solid emulsion of fat globules, air, and water made by churning milk or cream and used as food
2 : a buttery substance especially : any of various fatty oils remaining nearly solid at ordinary temperatures

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on butter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with butter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for butter

Spanish Central: Translation of butter

Nglish: Translation of butter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of butter for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about butter

Comments on butter

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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