noun, plural but·ter·flies.
verb (used with object), but·ter·flied, but·ter·fly·ing.
adjective Also butterflied.
- butterflies in one's stomach,
- butterfly ballot,
- butterfly bomb,
- butterfly bush,
- butterfly chair,
- butterfly closure
Origin of butterfly
Examples from the Web for butterfly
“When you become a peshmerga your life becomes like a butterfly,” she said.
This video remedies that injustice, showcasing an owl doing a butterfly stroke in Lake Michigan.Swimming Owls, Jane Krakowski’s Peter Pan Live! Audition, and More Viral Videos|The Daily Beast Video|December 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A small wooden cabinet with two butterfly doors held ropes and chains, candles, and sex toys.
The labels included a picture of a butterfly on a blade of grass.
The opera charts the tragic tale of Butterfly waiting in vain for her husband to return to her.Return of the Bunny Boiler: Fatal Attraction’s World Stage Premiere|Nico Hines|March 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
For instance, when she becomes a rose, he changes into a butterfly to kiss her.Frdric Mistral|Charles Alfred Downer
I had, indeed, seen the butterfly of the night; I had seen the man hanging, and I had seen Fledermausse.Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories|Edited by Julian Hawthorne
Now, many people, who never throughtthought of rearing a butterfly, are giving careful attention to them in all their stages.Three Hundred Things a Bright Boy Can Do|Anonymous
Infinitesimal grubs, newly hatched from butterfly eggs and barely six inches long, furnished them with tidbits.Nightmare Planet|Murray Leinster
One day we were out in the fields, when she ran off in chase of a butterfly.Ben Burton|W. H. G. Kingston
noun plural -flies
Word Origin for butterfly
Old English buttorfleoge, evidently butter (n.) + fly (n.), but of obscure signification. Perhaps based on the old notion that the insects (or witches disguised as butterflies) consume butter or milk that is left uncovered. Or, less creatively, simply because the pale yellow color of many species' wings suggests the color of butter. Another theory connects it to the color of the insect's excrement, based on Dutch cognate boterschijte. An overview of words for "butterfly" in various languages can be found here. Also see papillon.
Applied to persons from c.1600, originally in reference to vain and gaudy attire; by 1806 in reference to transformation from early lowly state; in reference to flitting tendencies by 1873. The swimming stroke so called from 1936. Butterflies "light stomach spasms caused by anxiety" is from 1908.
The butterfly effect is a deceptively simple insight extracted from a complex modern field. As a low-profile assistant professor in MIT's department of meteorology in 1961, [Edward] Lorenz created an early computer program to simulate weather. One day he changed one of a dozen numbers representing atmospheric conditions, from .506127 to .506. That tiny alteration utterly transformed his long-term forecast, a point Lorenz amplified in his 1972 paper, "Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?" [Peter Dizikes, "The Meaning of the Butterfly," The Boston Globe, June 8, 2008]