butter

[ buht-er ]
/ ˈbʌt ər /

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.

Origin of butter

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

OTHER WORDS FROM butter

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

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH butter

budder butter
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for butter up (1 of 2)

butter up

verb

(tr, adverb) to flatter

British Dictionary definitions for butter up (2 of 2)

butter
/ (ˈbʌtə) /

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

Medical 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 (1 of 2)

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]

Idioms and Phrases with butter up (2 of 2)

butter

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