- The definition of bread-and-butter means the work that earns you a solid income.
The profitable and popular shoe department at a store is an example of the store’s bread-and-butter.
- relating to subsistence or to the product, work, etc. basically relied on for earnings
- basic, commonplace, everyday, etc.
- ☆ expressing thanks, as a letter sent to one's host or hostess after a visit
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Means of support; livelihood.
- The essential sustaining element or elements; the mainstay: “As ever, politics, vulgarity and sentimentality were the bread and butter of the Academy Awards” (David Ansen).
- a. Influenced by or undertaken out of necessity: a bread-and-butter job.b. Reliable, especially for producing income; basic: Household appliances are the company's bread-and-butter goods.
- Expressive of gratitude for hospitality: a bread-and-butter note.
bread-and-butter - Phrases/Idioms
The essential, sustaining element, as in The quality of the schools is the bread and butter of town property values. This idiom alludes to a basic food, bread spread with butter. [c. 1700]
Means of livelihood, as in John's job is the family's bread and butter. [First half of 1700s]
Ordinary, routine, as in Don't worry about it; this is just a bread and butter assignment. [Second half of 1800s]