know which side one's bread is buttered on

Definition of know which side one's bread is buttered on

informal
:to know how to act or how to treat others in order to get what one want
  • He pretends to be impartial, but believe me, he knows which side his bread is buttered on.

Word by Word Definitions

know play
  1. : to perceive directly : have direct cognition of

  2. : to have understanding of

  3. : to recognize the nature of : discern

  1. : knowledge

side play
  1. : the right or left part of the wall or trunk of the body

  2. : one of the halves of the animal body on either side of the median plane

  3. : a cut of meat including that about the ribs of one half of the body

  1. : situated on the side

  2. : of or relating to the side

  3. : directed toward or from the side

  1. : to agree with : support

  2. : to be side by side with

  3. : to set or put aside : clear away

  1. : swaggering or arrogant manner : pretentiousness

bread play
  1. : a usually baked and leavened food made of a mixture whose basic constituent is flour or meal

  2. : food, sustenance

  3. : livelihood

  1. : to cover with bread crumbs

butter play buttered
  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

  3. : any of various fatty oils remaining nearly solid at ordinary temperatures

  1. : to spread with or as if with butter


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up know which side one's bread is buttered on? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak evil of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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