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[buht-ler] /ˈbʌt lər/
the chief male servant of a household, usually in charge of serving food, the care of silverware, etc.
a male servant having charge of the wines and liquors.
Origin of butler
1250-1300; Middle English buteler < Anglo-French butuiller, Old French bouteillier; see bottle1, -er2, -ier2
Related forms
butlerlike, adjective
butlership, noun
underbutler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for under-butler
Contemporary Examples
  • under-butler Grant Harrold claimed he was forced to quit his £24,000-a-year job looking after Charles and Camilla  last year.

Historical Examples
  • He was just the sort of man that the under-butler had in his eye, when describing his servant.

  • The under-butler came forth and went noiselessly towards the offices.

    The Gateless Barrier Lucas Malet
British Dictionary definitions for under-butler


the male servant of a household in charge of the wines, table, etc: usually the head servant
Word Origin
C13: from Old French bouteillier, from bouteillebottle1


Joseph. 1692–1752, English bishop and theologian, author of Analogy of Religion (1736)
Josephine (Elizabeth). 1828–1906, British social reformer, noted esp for her campaigns against state regulation of prostitution
Reg, full name Reginald Cotterell Butler. 1913–81, British metal sculptor; his works include The Unknown Political Prisoner (1953)
R(ichard) A(usten), Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, known as Rab Butler. 1902–82, British Conservative politician: Chancellor of the Exchequer (1951–55); Home Secretary (1957–62); Foreign Secretary (1963–64)
Samuel. 1612–80, English poet and satirist; author of Hudibras (1663–78)
Samuel. 1835–1902, British novelist, noted for his satirical work Erewhon (1872) and his autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh (1903)
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 under-butler



late 12c., from Anglo-French buteillier "cup-bearer," from Old French boteillier "cup-bearer, butler, officer in charge of wine," from boteille "wine vessel, bottle" (see bottle (n.)). The word reflects the position's original function as "chief servant in charge of wine." In Old French, fem. boteilliere was used of the Virgin Mary as "dispenser" of the cup of Mercy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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under-butler in the Bible

properly a servant in charge of the wine (Gen. 40:1-13; 41:9). The Hebrew word, _mashkeh_, thus translated is rendered also (plural) "cup-bearers" (1 Kings 10:5; 2 Chr. 9:4). Nehemiah (1:11) was cup-bearer to king Artaxerxes. It was a position of great responsibility and honour in royal households.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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