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[byoot] /byut/
noun, Western U.S. and Canada.
an isolated hill or mountain rising abruptly above the surrounding land.
Origin of butte
1650-60, Americanism; < North American French; French: low hill, mound, Old French: landmark, target, apparently feminine derivative of but butt2
Can be confused
beaut, butte, Butte.


[byoot] /byut/
a city in SW Montana: mining center.
Can be confused
beaut, butte, Butte. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for butte
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The lawyer left them at the next station to wait for a train back to butte.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Really, Miss Della, she's the most famous cow in butte, just now.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • She followed cautiously, and under a butte far from the Hen she found Jake's camp.

    Johnny Bear E. T. Seton
  • And Peabody he writes to his lawyer friend in butte, Montana.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • You see, our train is going on a line with that butte behind us and the sun.

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • The detectives sent to butte the previous day went too late.

    Under Fire Charles King
  • "I suppose there are letters at the hotel in butte," said Dave, with a little sigh.

    Dave Porter in the Gold Fields Edward Stratemeyer
British Dictionary definitions for butte


(Western US & Canadian) an isolated steep-sided flat-topped hill
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Old French bute mound behind a target, from but target; see butt²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for butte

1805, American English, from French butte, from Old French but "mound, knoll" (see butt (n.3)). A French word introduced in Lewis & Clark's journals.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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butte in Science
A steep-sided hill with a flat top, often standing alone in an otherwise flat area. A butte is smaller than a mesa.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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