butter

[buht-er]

noun

verb (used with object)

Verb Phrases

butter up, Informal. to flatter someone in order to gain a favor: He suspected that they were buttering him up when everyone suddenly started being nice to him.

Nearby words

  1. butt-dial,
  2. butt-fuck,
  3. butt-fucker,
  4. buttals,
  5. butte,
  6. butter bean,
  7. butter brickle,
  8. butter clam,
  9. butter cookie,
  10. butter knife

Origin of butter

before 1000; Middle English; Old English butere < Latin būtȳrum < Greek boútȳron

Related formsbut·ter·less, adjectivebut·ter·like, adjectiveun·but·tered, adjective

Can be confusedbudder butter

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for butter up

butter up

verb

(tr, adverb) to flatter

butter

noun

  1. an edible fatty whitish-yellow solid made from cream by churning, for cooking and table use
  2. (as modifier)butter icing Related adjective: butyraceous
any substance with a butter-like consistency, such as peanut butter or vegetable butter
look as if butter wouldn't melt in one's mouth to look innocent, although probably not so

verb (tr)

to put butter on or in
to flatter
See also butter up

Word Origin for butter

Old English butere, from Latin būtyrum, from Greek bouturon, from bous cow + turos cheese

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

Word Origin and History for butter up
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for butter up

butter

[bŭtər]

n.

A soft yellowish or whitish emulsion of butterfat, water, air, and sometimes salt, churned from milk or cream and processed for use in cooking and as a food.
A soft solid having at room temperature a consistency like that of butter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with butter up

butter up

Excessively praise or flatter someone, usually to gain a favor. For example, If you butter up Dad, he'll let you borrow the car. This term transfers the oily, unctuous quality of butter to lavish praise. [c. 1700]

butter

In addition to the idioms beginning with butter

  • butter up
  • butter wouldn't melt in one's mouth

also see:

  • bread and butter
  • bread-and-butter letter
  • know which side of bread is buttered
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.