Hypertext Webster Gateway: "But"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

But \But\ (b[u^]t), prep., adv. & conj. [OE. bute, buten, AS.
b[=u]tan, without, on the outside, except, besides; pref. be-
+ [=u]tan outward, without, fr. [=u]t out. Primarily,
b[=u]tan, as well as [=u]t, is an adverb. [root]198. See
{By}, {Out}; cf. {About}.]
1. Except with; unless with; without. [Obs.]

So insolent that he could not go but either spurning
equals or trampling on his inferiors. --Fuller.

Touch not the cat but a glove. --Motto of the

2. Except; besides; save.

Who can it be, ye gods! but perjured Lycon? --E.

Note: In this sense, but is often used with other particles;
as, but for, without, had it not been for. ``Uncreated
but for love divine.'' --Young.

3. Excepting or excluding the fact that; save that; were it
not that; unless; -- elliptical, for but that.

And but my noble Moor is true of mind . . . it were
enough to put him to ill thinking. --Shak.

4. Otherwise than that; that not; -- commonly, after a
negative, with that.

It cannot be but nature hath some director, of
infinite power, to guide her in all her ways.

There is no question but the king of Spain will
reform most of the abuses. --Addison.

5. Only; solely; merely.

Observe but how their own principles combat one
another. --Milton.

If they kill us, we shall but die. --2 Kings vii.

A formidable man but to his friends. --Dryden.

6. On the contrary; on the other hand; only; yet; still;
however; nevertheless; more; further; -- as connective of
sentences or clauses of a sentence, in a sense more or
less exceptive or adversative; as, the House of
Representatives passed the bill, but the Senate dissented;
our wants are many, but quite of another kind.

Now abideth faith hope, charity, these three; but
the greatest of these is charity. --1 Cor. xiii.

When pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the
lowly is wisdom. --Prov. xi. 2.

{All but}. See under {All}.

{But and if}, but if; an attempt on the part of King James's
translators of the Bible to express the conjunctive and
adversative force of the Greek ?.

But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord
delayeth his coming; . . . the lord of that servant
will come in a day when he looketh not for him.
--Luke xii.
45, 46.

{But if}, unless. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

But this I read, that but if remedy Thou her afford,
full shortly I her dead shall see. --Spenser.

Syn: {But}, {However}, {Still}.

Usage: These conjunctions mark opposition in passing from one
thought or topic to another. But marks the opposition
with a medium degree of strength; as, this is not
winter, but it is almost as cold; he requested my
assistance, but I shall not aid him at present.
However is weaker, and throws the opposition (as it
were) into the background; as, this is not winter; it
is, however, almost as cold; he required my
assistance; at present, however, I shall not afford
him aid. The plan, however, is still under
consideration, and may yet be adopted. Still is
stronger than but, and marks the opposition more
emphatically; as, your arguments are weighty; still
they do not convince me. See {Except}, {However}.

Note: ``The chief error with but is to use it where and is
enough; an error springing from the tendency to use
strong words without sufficient occasion.'' --Bain.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

But \But\, n. [Cf. {But}, prep., adv. & conj.]
The outer apartment or kitchen of a two-roomed house; --
opposed to {ben}, the inner room. [Scot.]

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

But \But\, n. [See 1st {But}.]
1. A limit; a boundary.

2. The end; esp. the larger or thicker end, or the blunt, in
distinction from the sharp, end. See 1st {Butt}.

{But end}, the larger or thicker end; as, the but end of a
log; the but end of a musket. See {Butt}, n.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

But \But\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Butted}; p. pr. & vb. n.
See {Butt}, v., and {Abut}, v.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Butt \Butt\, But \But\, n. [F. but butt, aim (cf. butte knoll),
or bout, OF. bot, end, extremity, fr. boter, buter, to push,
butt, strike, F. bouter; of German origin; cf. OHG. b[=o]zan,
akin to E. beat. See {Beat}, v. t.]
1. A limit; a bound; a goal; the extreme bound; the end.

Here is my journey's end, here my butt And very sea
mark of my utmost sail. --Shak.

Note: As applied to land, the word is nearly synonymous with
mete, and signifies properly the end line or boundary;
the abuttal.

2. The thicker end of anything. See {But}.

3. A mark to be shot at; a target. --Sir W. Scott.

The groom his fellow groom at butts defies, And
bends his bow, and levels with his eyes. --Dryden.

4. A person at whom ridicule, jest, or contempt is directed;
as, the butt of the company.

I played a sentence or two at my butt, which I
thought very smart. --Addison.

5. A push, thrust, or sudden blow, given by the head of an
animal; as, the butt of a ram.

6. A thrust in fencing.

To prove who gave the fairer butt, John shows the
chalk on Robert's coat. --Prior.

7. A piece of land left unplowed at the end of a field.

The hay was growing upon headlands and butts in
cornfields. --Burrill.

8. (Mech.)
(a) A joint where the ends of two objects come squarely
together without scarfing or chamfering; -- also
called {butt joint}.
(b) The end of a connecting rod or other like piece, to
which the boxing is attached by the strap, cotter, and
(c) The portion of a half-coupling fastened to the end of
a hose.

9. (Shipbuilding) The joint where two planks in a strake

10. (Carp.) A kind of hinge used in hanging doors, etc.; --
so named because fastened on the edge of the door, which
butts against the casing, instead of on its face, like
the strap hinge; also called {butt hinge}.

11. (Leather Trade) The thickest and stoutest part of tanned
oxhides, used for soles of boots, harness, trunks.

12. The hut or shelter of the person who attends to the
targets in rifle practice.

{Butt chain} (Saddlery), a short chain attached to the end of
a tug.

{Butt end}. The thicker end of anything. See {But end}, under
2d {But}.

Amen; and make me die a good old man! That's the
butt end of a mother's blessing. --Shak.

{A butt's length}, the ordinary distance from the place of
shooting to the butt, or mark.

{Butts and bounds} (Conveyancing), abuttals and boundaries.
In lands of the ordinary rectangular shape, butts are the
lines at the ends (F. bouts), and bounds are those on the
sides, or sidings, as they were formerly termed.

{Bead and butt}. See under {Bead}.

{Butt and butt}, joining end to end without overlapping, as

{Butt weld} (Mech.), a butt joint, made by welding together
the flat ends, or edges, of a piece of iron or steel, or
of separate pieces, without having them overlap. See

{Full butt}, headfirst with full force. [Colloq.] ``The
corporal . . . ran full butt at the lieutenant.''

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Butt \Butt\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Butted}; p. pr. & vb. n.
{Butting}.] [OE. butten, OF. boter to push, F. bouter. See
{Butt} an end, and cf. {Boutade}.]
1. To join at the butt, end, or outward extremity; to
terminate; to be bounded; to abut. [Written also {but}.]

And Barnsdale there doth butt on Don's well-watered
ground. --Drayton.

2. To thrust the head forward; to strike by thrusting the
head forward, as an ox or a ram. [See {Butt}, n.]

A snow-white steer before thine altar led, Butts
with his threatening brows. --Dryden.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adv : and nothing more; "I was merely asking"; "it is simply a
matter of time"; "just a scratch"; "he was only a
child"; "hopes that last but a moment" [syn: {merely},
{simply}, {just}, {only}]

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