butt

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: Butt, but, bút, bût, būt, and but-

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English but, butte (goal, mark, butt of land), from Old English byt, bytt (small piece of land) and *butt (attested in diminutive Old English buttuc (end, small piece of land) > English buttock), from Proto-Germanic *buttaz (end, piece), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰudʰnós (bottom), later thematic variant of Proto-Indo-European *bʰudʰmḗn ~ *bʰudʰn-, perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *dʰewbʰ- (deep). Cognate with Norwegian butt (stump, block), Icelandic bútur (piece, fragment), Low German butt (blunt, clumsy). Influenced by Old French but, butte (but, mark), ultimately from the same Germanic source. Compare also Albanian bythë (buttocks), Ancient Greek πυθμήν (puthmḗn, bottom of vessel), Latin fundus (bottom) and Sanskrit बुध्न (budhná, bottom), from the same Proto-Indo-European root. Related to bottom, boot.

Noun[edit]

butt (plural butts)

  1. (countable) The larger or thicker end of something; the blunt end, in distinction from the sharp or narrow end
    1. (Canada, US, slang) The buttocks (used as a euphemism in idiomatic expressions; less objectionable than arse/ass).
      Get up off your butt and get to work.
      1. (slang) The whole buttocks and pelvic region that includes one's private parts.
        I can see your butt.
      2. (slang) Body; self.
        Get your butt to the car.
        We can't chat today. I have to get my butt to work before I'm late.
    2. (leather trades) The thickest and stoutest part of tanned oxhides, used for soles of boots, harness, trunks.
  2. (countable) The waste end of anything
    1. (slang) A used cigarette.
    2. A piece of land left unplowed at the end of a field.
      • c. 1850-1860, Alexander Mansfield Burrill, A New Law Dictionary and Glossary
        The hay was growing upon headlands and butts in cornfields.
    3. (obsolete, West Country) Hassock.
  3. (countable, generally) An end of something, often distinguished in some way from the other end.
    1. The end of a firearm opposite to that from which a bullet is fired.
      She was hit in the face with the butt of a shotgun.
    2. (lacrosse) The plastic or rubber cap used to cover the open end of a lacrosse stick's shaft in order to reduce injury.
    3. The portion of a half-coupling fastened to the end of a hose.
    4. The end of a connecting rod or other like piece, to which the boxing is attached by the strap, cotter, and gib.
    5. (mechanical) A joint where the ends of two objects come squarely together without scarfing or chamfering.
      Synonym: butt joint
    6. (carpentry) A kind of hinge used in hanging doors, etc., so named because it is attached to the inside edge of the door and butts against the casing, instead of on its face, like the strap hinge; also called butt hinge.
    7. (shipbuilding) The joint where two planks in a strake meet.
    8. The blunt back part of an axehead or large blade. Also called the poll.
      • 1898, H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, London: William Heinemann, page 231:
        I put out my hand and felt the meat-chopper hanging to the wall. In a flash I was after him. [...] With one last touch of humanity I turned the blade back and struck him with the butt.
  4. (countable) A limit; a bound; a goal; the extreme bound; the end.
    • 1604, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act V, Scene II, line 267.
      Here is my journey's end, here is my butt / And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
    1. A mark to be shot at; a target.
      • 1598, William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act I, Scene II, line 186.
        To which is fixed, as an aim or butt...
      • 1786, Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 37.
        The inhabitants of all cities and towns were ordered to make butts, and to keep them in repair, under a penalty of twenty shillings per month, and to exercise themselves in shooting at them on holidays.
      • 1697, “The Second Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
        The groom his fellow groom at butts defies, / And bends his bow, and levels with his eyes.
    2. (usually as "butt of (a) joke") A person at whom ridicule, jest, or contempt is directed.
      He's usually the butt of their jokes.
      Synonym: laughing stock
    3. The hut or shelter of the person who attends to the targets in rifle practice.
Usage notes[edit]
  • "butt" for "buttocks" is considered less vulgar than "arse/ass", but still not as polite as saying bottom or rear end.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

butt (third-person singular simple present butts, present participle butting, simple past and past participle butted)

  1. To join at the butt, end, or outward extremity; to terminate; to be bounded; to abut.
Related terms[edit]
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English butten, from Anglo-Norman buter, boter (to push, butt, strike), from Frankish *bautan (to hit, beat), from Proto-Germanic *bautaną (to beat, push), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰÀud-, *bʰÀu- (to beat, push, strike). Cognate with Old English bēatan (to beat). More at beat.

Verb[edit]

butt (third-person singular simple present butts, present participle butting, simple past and past participle butted)

  1. (transitive) To strike bluntly, particularly with the head.
    • 1651, Henry Wotton, A Description of the Country's Recreations
      Two harmless lambs are butting one the other.
  2. (intransitive) To strike bluntly with the head.
    Rams butt at other males during mating season.
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

butt (plural butts)

  1. A push, thrust, or sudden blow, given by the head; a head butt.
    • 1907, Barbara Baynton, Sally Krimmer; Alan Lawson, editors, Human Toll (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, page 167:
      Its noise attracted its outside mate, and the child gloried in its buzzing butts to get in.
    Be careful in the pen, that ram can knock you down with a butt.
    The handcuffed suspect gave the officer a desperate butt in the chest.
  2. A thrust in fencing.
    • 1718, Matthew Prior, Alma; or, The Progress of the Mind
      To prove who gave the fairer butt, / John shows the chalk on Robert's coat.
Translations[edit]
English wine cask units.jpg

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English bit, bitte, bytte, butte (leather bottle), from Old English bytt, byt and Old French boute (cask) and other etymologies on this page.

Noun[edit]

butt (plural butts)

  1. (English units) An English measure of capacity for liquids, containing 126 wine gallons which is one-half tun; equivalent to the pipe.
    • 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, p. 205.
      Again, by 28 Hen. VIII, cap. 14, it is re-enacted that the tun of wine should contain 252 gallons, a butt of Malmsey 126 gallons, a pipe 126 gallons, a tercian or puncheon 84 gallons, a hogshead 63 gallons, a tierce 41 gallons, a barrel 31.5 gallons, a rundlet 18.5 gallons. –
  2. A wooden cask for storing wine, usually containing 126 gallons.
    • 1611, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, Scene II, line 121.
      ...I escap'd upon a butt of sack which the sailors heav'd o'erboard...

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle English but, butte, botte (flounder; plaice; turbot). Cognate with West Frisian bot, Dutch bot, German Low German Butt, German Butt, Butte, Swedish butta.

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

butt (plural butts)

  1. (Northern England) Any of various flatfish such as sole, plaice or turbot
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 5[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun[edit]

butt (plural butts)

  1. (dated, West Country and Ireland) A heavy two-wheeled cart.
  2. (dated, West Country and Ireland) A three-wheeled cart resembling a wheelbarrow.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • butt at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • butt in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Low German butt, bott.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

butt (neuter singular butt, definite singular and plural butte, comparative buttere, indefinite superlative buttest, definite superlative butteste)

  1. blunt (not sharp)
  2. (vinkel) obtuse (angle between 90 and 180 degrees)

References[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Low German butt, bott.

Adjective[edit]

butt (neuter singular butt, definite singular and plural butte, comparative buttare, indefinite superlative buttast, definite superlative buttaste)

  1. blunt (not sharp)
  2. (vinkel) obtuse (angle between 90 and 180 degrees)

Etymology 2[edit]

See the etymology of the main entry.

Verb[edit]

butt

  1. past participle of bu

References[edit]