- The definition of a butterfly is an insect with a slender body and four broad colorful wings that flies during the day.
An example of a butterfly is the monarch.
A butterfly on some flowers.
butterfly definition by Webster's New World
- any of various families of lepidopteran insects active in the daytime, having a sucking mouthpart, slender body, ropelike, knobbed antennae, and four broad, usually brightly colored, membranous wings
- a person, esp. a woman, thought of as flitting about like a butterfly and being frivolous, fickle, etc.
- butterfly stroke
- a contest in which each contestant uses a butterfly stroke
Origin: Middle English buterflie ; from Old English buttorfleoge (see butter and amp; fly): in folklore, it is thought to steal milk or butter
butterfly definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Any of various insects of the order Lepidoptera, characteristically having slender bodies, knobbed antennae, and four broad, usually colorful wings.
- A person interested principally in frivolous pleasure: a social butterfly.
- Sports a. A swimming stroke in which a swimmer lying face down draws both arms upward out of the water, thrusts them forward, and draws them back under the water in an hourglass design while performing a dolphin kick.b. A race or a leg of a race in which this stroke is swum.
- butterflies A feeling of unease or mild nausea caused especially by fearful anticipation.
Origin: Middle English butterflye, from Old English butorflēoge : butor, butere, butter; see butter + flēoge, fly; see fly2.Word History: Is a butterfly named for the color of its excrement or because it was thought to steal butter? It is hard to imagine that anyone ever noticed the color of butterfly excrement or believed the insect capable of such theft. The first suggestion rests on the fact that an early Dutch name for the butterfly was boterschijte. The second is based on an old belief that the butterfly was really a larcenous witch in disguise.
butterfly - Phrases/Idioms
butterflies (in one's stomach)