- the solid, yellowish, edible fat that results from churning cream or whole milk, used as a spread, in cooking, etc.
- any of various substances somewhat like butter; specif.,
- any of certain other spreads for bread: apple butter, peanut butter
- any of certain vegetables oils having a solid consistency at ordinary temperatures: cocoa butter
- any of certain metallic chlorides: butter of antimony
- Informal flatter
Origin of butterMiddle English butere ; from Old English ; from Classical Latin butyrum ; from Classical Greek boutyron ; from bous, ox, cow + tyros, cheese; akin to Avestan tū’ri, curds
- to spread with butter
- Informal to flatter so as to ingratiate oneself: often with up
look as if butter would not melt in one's mouth
- A soft yellowish or whitish emulsion of butterfat, water, air, and sometimes salt, churned from milk or cream and processed for use in cooking and as a food.
- Any of various substances similar to butter, especially:a. A spread made from fruit, nuts, or other foods: apple butter.b. A vegetable fat having a nearly solid consistency at ordinary temperatures.
transitive verbbut·tered, but·ter·ing, but·ters
Origin of butterMiddle English butere, from Old English, from Latin būt&ymacron;rum, from Greek boutūron : bous, cow; see gwou- in Indo-European roots + tūros, cheese; see teu&schwa;- in Indo-European roots.
(usually uncountable, plural butters)
- (uncountable) A soft, fatty foodstuff made by churning the cream of milk (generally cow's milk).
- (uncountable) Any of various foodstuffs made from other foods or oils, similar in consistency to, eaten like or intended as a substitute for butter (preceded by the name of the food used to make it).
- peanut butter
(third-person singular simple present butters, present participle buttering, simple past and past participle buttered)
- To spread butter on.
- Butter the toast.
- to move one's weight backwards or forwards onto the tips or tails of one's skis or snowboard so only the tip or tail is in contact with the snow.
From Middle English, from Old English butere (“butter”), from Proto-Germanic *buterô (“butter”) (compare West Frisian buter, Dutch boter, German Butter), from Latin būtȳrum, from Ancient Greek βούτῡρον (boútȳron, “cow cheese”), compound of βοῦς (boûs, “ox, cow”) and τῡρός (tyrós, “cheese”), from Scythian. Compare Avestan (tūiri, “curdled milk, whey”)), from Proto-Indo-European *tuHrós (compare Middle Indic [script?] (tūra, “cheese”), Russian творог (tvoróg, “curds, soft cheese”), Old English þweran (“to churn”), ge-þweor (“curds”)).
- Someone who butts; someone who butts in
butt + -er