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’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Amongst his academic duties, Dane intends to take up rugby, the school's main sporting bread and butter.’
    • ‘Sporadic work, from a wide variety of sources, is their bread and butter.’
    • ‘His dream remained forging art works, but this was still his bread and butter.’
    • ‘Put simply, the Wolves should rely on their bread and butter and abandon what doesn't work.’
    • ‘The downturn is also thought to affect the fee income of barristers for whom personal injuries work is often their bread and butter.’
    • ‘Her bread and butter work is commercial photography but artwork is her passion.’
    • ‘It's bread and butter work and a host of other urgers and coat tuggers have now tuned in to the lurk.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But there are thousands for whom commercials, though not their sole income, are 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.’
    • ‘Of course their bread and butter depends on advertising, but that's the nature of commercial broadcasting.’
    • ‘Twenty years ago, however, the company's bread and butter work was nailing matrimonial infidels.’
    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’
      • ‘This is a very specific bread-and-butter campaign.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘Residents also ask constituency assistants about bread-and-butter money issues.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Do the movements concern themselves only with bread-and-butter issues, ignoring the big picture issues such as where China may be heading?’
      • ‘It is time to start filling in the blanks, particularly on bread-and-butter issues.’
      • ‘He is also attuned to running a two-tier system, managing four-star hotels as well as bread-and-butter budget locations.’
      • ‘In Bulgaria of 2004 and 2005, it may be that old-fashioned bread-and-butter politics will hold sway.’
      • ‘For the world's poor, ‘anti-globalisation’ is about real bread-and-butter issues, which do not disappear once the international summits are over.’
      • ‘But where bread-and-butter issues are concerned, they know where their loyalties lie.’
      • ‘He probably didn't hammer enough on bread-and-butter issues in the Midwest.’
      • ‘Maybe some of those bread-and-butter issues can come to the fore.’
      • ‘Sources tell CNN that from his hospital bed, the former president counseled Kerry on shifting the talk from Vietnam to bread-and-butter issues.’
      • ‘Under Macmillan, they continued to deliver on bread-and-butter issues and were rewarded by a 100-seat election win in 1959.’
      youthful, young, childlike, adolescent, teenage, teenaged, fresh-faced
      View synonyms


bread and butter

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