Definition of butter someone up in US English:

butter someone up

phrasal verb

informal
  • Flatter or otherwise ingratiate oneself with someone.

    • ‘His strategy now is to frustrate Dookeran, muzzle Yetming and see if Jack can be buttered up.’
    • ‘Many reporters immortalized in the Kissinger transcripts talked to the secretary without buttering him up.’
    • ‘‘See, he phones people just to say hello, but he's only buttering you up so he can ask you favours later,’ he continued.’
    • ‘After buttering him up with a cold beer and the biggest cheeseburger in the world, he supplied me with the necessary contacts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘Well, since you buttered me up so nicely: Okay..’
    • ‘Anyway she could not have been nicer and Cowan buttered her up about all her films.’
    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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