butter up

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butter up (third-person singular simple present butters up, present participle buttering up, simple past and past participle buttered up)

  1. (transitive, figuratively, informal) To flatter, especially with the intent of personal gain.
    He takes every opportunity to butter up the boss.
    • 6 September 2013, Daniel Taylor, “Danny Welbeck leads England's rout of Moldova but hit by Ukraine ban”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Joe Hart finished the night without a single grass stain on his kit and it was just a surprise the team did not butter up their goal difference even more once Welbeck had clipped in Lambert's through-ball five minutes into the second half.



  • “Butter up”, in BBC Learning English[2], BBC, 23 September 2014