Definition of butter in English:



mass noun
  • A pale yellow edible fatty substance made by churning cream and used as a spread or in cooking.

    • ‘I took no sugar, no butter and no other cooking fat of any sort because to get these rare commodities I would have had to ask Stewart to give me some.’
    • ‘Cream butter and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.’
    • ‘Cutting out the obvious milk, butter, cream, yoghurt, and cheese is not enough.’
    • ‘There are 20 classes for hard and soft cheeses, yoghurt, cream and butter.’
    • ‘Watch out for butter and cream hidden in many casseroles and other dishes, bakery goods and desserts.’
    • ‘Just one tablespoon of butter, sour cream or gravy can double the calories in a potato.’
    • ‘Surely it is also dedicated to getting people to buy as much milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream as possible?’
    • ‘They are served hot or cold spread with butter or margarine and sometimes jelly jam and cream.’
    • ‘Dairy products such as butter, cream, and cheese are important parts of the diet, along with pork.’
    • ‘When cream is churned to make butter, the agitation breaks up the water into droplets.’
    • ‘Staff were even instructed to cream the butter before spreading to make sure customers got even less for their money.’
    • ‘Beat the egg yolk into the batter, followed by the sour cream and melted butter.’
    • ‘The cream, fresh butter and jam came in three separate dishes.’
    • ‘Serve over mashed potatoes that have been whipped with lots of butter and milk or cream.’
    • ‘When using butter, it is best to cream the sugar and butter for some time before combining with the flour.’
    • ‘We defined high fat dairy food as whole milk, ice cream, hard cheese, butter, and sour cream.’
    • ‘Milk products were common in the form of sour cream and butter from cows and yaks.’
    • ‘I used to help my father from the age of 10, delivering butter and fresh cream on my bicycle.’
    • ‘The server returned to replace my tuna fork, but not either of the pointy knives which earlier we had been struggling to spread butter with.’
    • ‘They can be eaten as is, or sliced in two and spread with a little butter, clotted cream and/or jam.’
    fat, oil, cooking oil, animal fat
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[with object]
  • Spread (something) with butter.

    ‘Lily buttered a slice of toast’
    • ‘I sigh at his audacity, buttering a piece of toast.’
    • ‘The fish arrived at our table piping hot with just the right sized portion of freshly-cooked chips, plus buttered bread.’
    • ‘The toaster dinged and I pulled out the bread, buttering it in my hand.’
    • ‘The freshly buttered warm garlic toast made a tasty companion to the vegetable soup, and the pasta dishes were spot on.’
    • ‘As for Mr Sarma, buttering the right side of the bread is an old trick he has mastered from his student days.’
    • ‘Apryl half-heartedly smiled back as she picked up a slice of toast and buttered it.’
    • ‘When the toast popped up she buttered it and placed each slice onto a saucer.’
    • ‘She said: ‘I was buttering a piece of bread and I just dropped what I was doing.’’
    • ‘I buttered a piece of bread and made my way outside to begin weeding, still chewing on my bread.’
    • ‘Place a slice of lightly buttered granary toast on each plate and spoon the scrambled egg on top.’
    • ‘Who can resist freshly spread hot buns and or a lightly buttered French stick?’
    • ‘He reached for some bread and buttered it, but when no one else spoke, he glanced up.’
    • ‘She was just sitting there, buttering another piece of toast with a knife and jam.’
    • ‘Then when the toast was browned, I buttered it, and spooned the mushrooms on top.’
    • ‘Haig buttered his toast, then spread one slice with orange marmalade and the other with lime marmalade.’
    • ‘When buttering bread use low fat polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarine.’
    • ‘Janice had made her two slices of toast and buttered them, and set them on the counter by the door, wrapped in a paper towel.’
    • ‘‘So,’ I asked, buttering a piece of toast, ‘What's on the schedule for today?’’
    • ‘Another cut her fruit into bite-size pieces, and a third sliced and buttered her bread.’
    • ‘I peeked into the kitchen and saw Tracy buttering a piece of toast.’
    cover, coat, layer, daub, smother
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  • look as if butter wouldn't melt in one's mouth

    • informal Appear gentle or innocent while typically being the opposite.

      • ‘All sweet and coy on the surface as if butter wouldn't melt, but look a little deeper my friends; Ms. Sorisso is a minx.’
      • ‘He looks as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, but he angled against Kennedy and now he's doing it against Campbell.’
      • ‘Because, while he may often look as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, underneath the boyish appearance and the trappings of trendiness, there is a genuinely steely determination that has to be admired.’
      • ‘For all they look as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, they're an un-Christian lot.’
      • ‘At home, he's placid and gentle and happy and looks as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • butter someone up

    • Flatter or otherwise ingratiate oneself with someone.

      • ‘‘See, he phones people just to say hello, but he's only buttering you up so he can ask you favours later,’ he continued.’
      • ‘Many reporters immortalized in the Kissinger transcripts talked to the secretary without buttering him up.’
      • ‘She buttered me up with some praise (which always works with me).’
      • ‘McClaren is a PR man, adept at buttering people up in the boardroom but unproven in the dressing room, where it matters most.’
      • ‘After buttering him up with a cold beer and the biggest cheeseburger in the world, he supplied me with the necessary contacts.’
      • ‘And if so, buttering them up in preparation for what?’
      • ‘‘Magic Valley's industrial dairies try to butter us up with sweet talk and promises,’ the ad begins, ‘but the reality is as different as milk and molasses.’’
      • ‘Anyway she could not have been nicer and Cowan buttered her up about all her films.’
      • ‘His strategy now is to frustrate Dookeran, muzzle Yetming and see if Jack can be buttered up.’
      • ‘Well, since you buttered me up so nicely: Okay..’
      be obsequious towards, grovel to, be servile towards, be sycophantic towards, kowtow to, abase oneself to, demean oneself to, bow and scrape to, prostrate oneself to, toady to, truckle to, dance attendance on, fawn on, make up to, play up to, ingratiate oneself with, rub up the right way, curry favour with
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Old English butere, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch boter and German Butter, based on Latin butyrum, from Greek bouturon.