Definition of bread and butter in US English:

bread and butter


  • 1A person's livelihood or main source of income, typically as earned by routine work.

    ‘their bread and butter is reporting local events’
    as modifier ‘bread-and-butter occupations’
    • ‘Sporadic work, from a wide variety of sources, is their bread and butter.’
    • ‘It has been unfortunate that many of the ties have fallen on dates when the club would have had home league games to provide their bread and butter income.’
    • ‘Her bread and butter work is commercial photography but artwork is her passion.’
    • ‘Put simply, the Wolves should rely on their bread and butter and abandon what doesn't work.’
    • ‘But there are thousands for whom commercials, though not their sole income, are bread and butter.’
    • ‘Twenty years ago, however, the company's bread and butter work was nailing matrimonial infidels.’
    • ‘Of course their bread and butter depends on advertising, but that's the nature of commercial broadcasting.’
    • ‘It's bread and butter work and a host of other urgers and coat tuggers have now tuned in to the lurk.’
    • ‘Such chips are, of course, bread and butter to Apple and essential for its on-going business strategy.’
    • ‘Secondly, why do working women live on bread and butter while working men live on beefsteak and butter?’
    • ‘The downturn is also thought to affect the fee income of barristers for whom personal injuries work is often their bread and butter.’
    • ‘His dream remained forging art works, but this was still his bread and butter.’
    • ‘Amongst his academic duties, Dane intends to take up rugby, the school's main sporting bread and butter.’
    • ‘You have your bread and butter income, from doing things like setting up a teaching practice or running a covers band with a commercial edge to it.’
    living, livelihood, means of subsistence, income, daily bread
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An everyday or ordinary person or thing.
      ‘the bread and butter of non-League soccer’
      as modifier ‘a good bread-and-butter player’
      • ‘He probably didn't hammer enough on bread-and-butter issues in the Midwest.’
      • ‘For the world's poor, ‘anti-globalisation’ is about real bread-and-butter issues, which do not disappear once the international summits are over.’
      • ‘For him, economics is everything: all else is just a diversion staged by the wicked ruling class to distract the masses from bread-and-butter issues.’
      • ‘In Bulgaria of 2004 and 2005, it may be that old-fashioned bread-and-butter politics will hold sway.’
      • ‘After the joys of the three-day Festival meeting at Cheltenham, it's back to bread-and-butter fare, and a taste of what is just around the corner, tomorrow.’
      • ‘He is also attuned to running a two-tier system, managing four-star hotels as well as bread-and-butter budget locations.’
      • ‘The messages the party must get over are, it turns out, about wooing key groups of voters, particularly women, on bread-and-butter issues such as pensions and tax.’
      • ‘Under Macmillan, they continued to deliver on bread-and-butter issues and were rewarded by a 100-seat election win in 1959.’
      • ‘This sort of straight-line running to commit a tackler should be bread-and-butter stuff but Scotland's back division still manages to make a meal of it.’
      • ‘What's holding him down is concern about the economy and other sort of bread-and-butter issues like health care.’
      • ‘Maybe some of those bread-and-butter issues can come to the fore.’
      • ‘This is a very specific bread-and-butter campaign.’
      • ‘Do the movements concern themselves only with bread-and-butter issues, ignoring the big picture issues such as where China may be heading?’
      • ‘But where bread-and-butter issues are concerned, they know where their loyalties lie.’
      • ‘Polls over the past week show that most voters are just as exercised about bread-and-butter issues such as jobs and domestic concerns as they are about Iraq and the ‘war on terror’.’
      • ‘It is time to start filling in the blanks, particularly on bread-and-butter issues.’
      • ‘Labor brings the most muscle, for instance, but it also has to play defense against Republican assaults on a variety of bread-and-butter issues.’
      • ‘During his time on Down District Council, he developed a reputation as a man of the ordinary people; someone who would campaign hard on bread-and-butter issues.’
      • ‘Residents also ask constituency assistants about bread-and-butter money issues.’
      • ‘Sources tell CNN that from his hospital bed, the former president counseled Kerry on shifting the talk from Vietnam to bread-and-butter issues.’
      youthful, young, childlike, adolescent, teenage, teenaged, fresh-faced
      View synonyms


bread and butter

/ˈˌbrɛd (ə)n ˈbədər//ˈˌbred (ə)n ˈbədər/