the more or less acidulous liquid remaining after butter has been separated from milk or cream.
a similar liquid made from whole or skim milk with the addition of a bacterial culture.

Nearby words

  1. butterfly weed,
  2. butterfly-shell clam,
  3. butterflyfish,
  4. butterine,
  5. buttermere,
  6. buttermilk sky,
  7. butternut,
  8. butternut pumpkin,
  9. butternut squash,
  10. butterpaste

Origin of buttermilk

First recorded in 1520–30; butter + milk

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

Examples from the Web for buttermilk

British Dictionary definitions for buttermilk



the sourish liquid remaining after the butter has been separated from milk, often used for making scones and soda bread
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 buttermilk



1520s, from butter (n.) + milk (n.). Cf. German Buttermilch. It is what remains after the butter has been churned out.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper