1

butterfly

noun, often attributive but·ter·fly \ -ˌflī \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of butterfly

1 :any of numerous slender-bodied diurnal lepidopteran insects including one superfamily (Papilionoidea) with broad often brightly colored wings and usually another superfamily comprising the skippers
2 :something that resembles or suggests a butterfly; especially :a person chiefly occupied with the pursuit of pleasure
3 :a swimming stroke executed in a prone position by moving both arms in a circular motion while kicking both legs up and down
4 butterflies plural :a feeling of hollowness or queasiness caused especially by emotional or nervous tension or anxious anticipation
5 :a defensive move by a goalie in ice hockey executed by dropping to the knees while spreading the lower legs outward

Examples of butterfly in a Sentence

  1. They competed in the butterfly.

Recent Examples of butterfly from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'butterfly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of butterfly

before 12th century


2

butterfly

verb

Definition of butterfly

butterflied; butterflying
transitive verb
:to split almost entirely and spread apart
  • a butterflied steak
  • butterflied shrimp

Examples of butterfly in a Sentence

  1. Butterfly the chicken before roasting.

Recent Examples of butterfly from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'butterfly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of butterfly

1947


BUTTERFLY Defined for English Language Learners

butterfly

noun

Definition of butterfly for English Language Learners

  • : a kind of insect that has a long thin body and brightly colored wings and that flies mostly during the day

  • : a person who goes to many parties and other social events

  • : a way of swimming in which the swimmer's face is in the water and the arms move together in a circular motion while the legs kick up and down; also : a race in which the swimmers do the butterfly


butterfly

verb

Definition of butterfly for English Language Learners

  • : to cut (food) into two pieces that are joined along one edge so that it can be spread apart for cooking


BUTTERFLY Defined for Kids

butterfly

noun but·ter·fly \ ˈbə-tər-ˌflī \

Definition of butterfly for Students

plural butterflies
:an insect that has a slender body and large colored wings covered with tiny overlapping scales and that flies mostly in the daytime

Medical Dictionary

1

butterfly

noun but·ter·fly \ -ˌflī \

medical Definition of butterfly

plural butterflies
1 plural :a feeling of hollowness or queasiness caused especially by emotional or nervous tension or anxious anticipation

2

butterfly

adjective

medical Definition of butterfly

:affecting the part of the face including the cheeks and the bridge of the nose
  • the typical butterfly lesion of lupus erythematosus


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