noun, plural but·ter·flies.

verb (used with object), but·ter·flied, but·ter·fly·ing.

Cookery. to slit open and spread apart to resemble the spread wings of a butterfly.

adjective Also butterflied.

Cookery. split open and spread apart to resemble a butterfly: butterfly shrimp; butterfly steak.

Nearby words

  1. butterfield,
  2. butterfingers,
  3. butterfish,
  4. butterflies,
  5. butterflies in one's stomach,
  6. butterfly ballot,
  7. butterfly bomb,
  8. butterfly bush,
  9. butterfly chair,
  10. butterfly closure

Origin of butterfly

before 1000; Middle English boterflye, Old English buttorflēoge. See butter, fly2

Related formsbut·ter·fly·like, adjective, adverb

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

Examples from the Web for butterflies

British Dictionary definitions for butterflies


pl n

informal tremors in the stomach region due to nervousness


noun plural -flies

any diurnal insect of the order Lepidoptera that has a slender body with clubbed antennae and typically rests with the wings (which are often brightly coloured) closed over the backCompare moth Related adjective: lepidopteran
a person who never settles with one group, interest, or occupation for long
a swimming stroke in which the arms are plunged forward together in large circular movements
commerce the simultaneous purchase and sale of traded call options, at different exercise prices or with different expiry dates, on a stock exchange or commodity market

Word Origin for butterfly

Old English buttorflēoge; the name perhaps is based on a belief that butterflies stole milk and butter

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 butterflies


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper