From Middle English but, buten, boute, bouten, from Old English būtan (“out of, outside of, off, round about, except, without, all but, but only, besides, in addition to, in spite of, except that, save, but, only, unless, save that, if only, provided that, outside”), equivalent to be- + out. Cognate with Scots but, bot (“outside, without, but”), Saterland Frisian buute (“without”), West Frisian bûten (“outside of, apart from, other than, except, but”), Dutch buiten (“outside”), Dutch Low Saxon buten (“outside”), German Low German buuten, buute (“outside”), obsolete German baußen (“outside”), Luxembourgish baussen. Compare bin, about.
- Apart from, except (for), excluding.
- (obsolete outside Scotland) Outside of.
but (not comparable)
- Merely, only, just.
- (Australia, Geordie, conjunctive) Though, however.
- Used as an intensifier.
- On the contrary, rather (as a regular adversative conjunction, introducing a word or clause in contrast or contradiction with the preceding negative clause or sentence).
- However, although, nevertheless, on the other hand (introducing a clause contrary to prior belief or in contrast with the preceding clause or sentence).
- Except that (introducing a subordinate clause which qualifies a negative statement); also, with omission of the subject of the subordinate clause, acting as a negative relative, "except one that", "except such that".
- (archaic) Without its also being the case that; unless that (introducing a necessary concomitant).
- (obsolete) Except with; unless with; without.
- (obsolete) Only; solely; merely.
- (obsolete) Until.
but (plural buts)
- An instance or example of using the word "but".
- (Scotland) The outer room of a small two-room cottage.
- A limit; a boundary.
- The end; especially the larger or thicker end, or the blunt, in distinction from the sharp, end; the butt.
but (third-person singular simple present buts, present participle butting, simple past and past participle butted)
- (archaic) Use the word "but".