but·​ter·​fat | \ ˈbə-tər-ˌfat How to pronounce butterfat (audio) \

Definition of butterfat

: the natural fat of milk and chief constituent of butter consisting essentially of a mixture of glycerides (such as those derived from butyric, capric, caproic, and caprylic acids)

Examples of butterfat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This specific livestock feed supplement, which is federally approved for use in Canada, helps increase the output of the fatty portion of milk, known as butterfat. Karen Ho, Quartz, "The economics driving Canada’s “buttergate”," 4 Mar. 2021 Jerseys are known for their gentle disposition, and for producing milk with a high butterfat content. New York Times, "Is Dairy Farming Cruel to Cows?," 29 Dec. 2020 Today Himba women in southern Africa cover their bodies in a mix of butterfat and red ocher, a culturally important tradition that also acts as sunscreen and bug repellent. Theresa Machemer, National Geographic, "This archaeologist hunts DNA from prehistoric diseases," 8 Sep. 2020 Older cookbooks may refer to it as butterfat, while recent recipes may use the more-common term milkfat. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This Wisconsin dairy product (cream) is in high demand (for good reason)," 12 Aug. 2020 Here's what happens: The milk solids separate from the butterfat and sink to the bottom of the pan. Katie Bowlby, Country Living, "What Is Brown Butter—and Should You Be Using It?," 31 Oct. 2019 The reams of data that can be collected by robotics such a DeLaval Herd Management system, (the University of Connecticut has one) can measure the butterfat and protein content, but also if a cow is pregnant. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Robots Do The Milking At Fairholm Farm," 23 Sep. 2019 However, higher butterfat means less water, which could lead to more difficulty handling the dough. Lucinda Scala Quinn, Washington Post, "How to put fancy, high-fat butter to its best use," 21 June 2019 Triple-crème: Soft cheese with added butterfat, like cream. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "The science of cheese: Cleveland doctor making ‘amazing’ artisanal cheeses," 26 June 2019

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

1871, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about butterfat

Time Traveler for butterfat

Time Traveler

The first known use of butterfat was in 1871

See more words from the same year

Statistics for butterfat

Last Updated

16 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Butterfat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/butterfat. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for butterfat



English Language Learners Definition of butterfat

: the natural fat of milk from which butter is made


but·​ter·​fat | \ ˈbə-tər-ˌfat How to pronounce butterfat (audio) \

Kids Definition of butterfat

: the natural fat of milk that is the chief ingredient of butter


but·​ter·​fat | \ -ˌfat How to pronounce butterfat (audio) \

Medical Definition of butterfat

: the natural fat of milk and chief constituent of butter consisting essentially of a mixture of glycerides (as butyrin, olein, and palmitin)

More from Merriam-Webster on butterfat

Nglish: Translation of butterfat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about butterfat

Comments on butterfat

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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