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In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Idioms for but

    but for, except for; were it not for: But for the excessive humidity, it might have been a pleasant day.
    but what. what (def. 25).

Origin of but

before 900; Middle English buten,Old English būtan for phrase be ūtan on the outside, without. See by1, out
2. See except1.
1. But, like and, is a common transitional word and often begins sentences. When it is used in the middle of a sentence as a coordinating conjunction like and or so, it is not followed by a comma unless the comma is one of a pair setting off a parenthetical expression: His political affiliations make no difference, but his lack of ethics does. The cast is nearly complete, but, our efforts notwithstanding, we lack a star. See also and, so1.
2, 10. When but is understood as a conjunction and the pronoun following it is understood as the subject of an incompletely expressed clause, the pronoun is in the subjective case: Everyone lost faith in the plan but she ( did not lose faith ). In virtually identical contexts, when but is understood as a preposition, the pronoun following it is in the objective case: Everyone lost faith but her. The prepositional use is more common. However, when prepositional but and its following pronoun occur near the beginning of a sentence, the subjective case often appears: Everyone but she lost faith in the plan. See also doubt, than.
but , butt

Definition for but (2 of 4)

[ buht ]
/ bʌt /

noun Scot.

the outer or front room of a house; the outer or front apartment in an apartment house.
the kitchen of a two-room dwelling, especially of a cottage.

Origin of but

1715–25; noun use of but1 (adv.) outside, outside the house

Definition for but (3 of 4)

[ buht ]
/ bʌt /

noun plural (especially collectively) but, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) buts.

Definition for but (4 of 4)


a combining form meaning “containing a group of four carbon atoms,” used in the formation of compound words: butene.

Origin of but-

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What are other ways to say but?

The conjunction but means “on the contrary,” and is used to indicate contrast or opposition between elements in a sentence. How is but different from however, nevertheless, still, and yet? Find out on Thesaurus.com.

British Dictionary definitions for but (1 of 2)

Old English būtan without, outside, except, from be by + ūtan out; related to Old Saxon biūtan, Old High German biūzan

British Dictionary definitions for but (2 of 2)

/ (bʌt) Scot /


the outer room of a two-roomed cottage: usually the kitchen

preposition, adverb

in or into the outer part (of a house)Compare ben 1
C18: from but (adv) outside, hence, outer room; see but 1
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

Idioms and Phrases with but


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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