1. the chief male servant of a household, usually in charge of serving food, the care of silverware, etc.
  2. a male servant having charge of the wines and liquors.

Origin of butler

1250–1300; Middle English buteler < Anglo-French butuiller, Old French bouteillier; see bottle1, -er2, -ier2
Related formsbut·ler·like, adjectivebut·ler·ship, nounun·der·but·ler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for under-butler

Contemporary Examples of under-butler

  • Under-butler Grant Harrold claimed he was forced to quit his £24,000-a-year job looking after Charles and Camilla  last year.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Chaz Pays Off Former Butler

    Tom Sykes

    November 19, 2012

Historical Examples of under-butler

British Dictionary definitions for under-butler


  1. the male servant of a household in charge of the wines, table, etc: usually the head servant

Word Origin for butler

C13: from Old French bouteillier, from bouteille bottle 1


  1. Joseph . 1692–1752, English bishop and theologian, author of Analogy of Religion (1736)
  2. Josephine (Elizabeth). 1828–1906, British social reformer, noted esp for her campaigns against state regulation of prostitution
  3. Reg, full name Reginald Cotterell Butler . 1913–81, British metal sculptor; his works include The Unknown Political Prisoner (1953)
  4. R (ichard) A (usten), Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, known as Rab Butler . 1902–82, British Conservative politician: Chancellor of the Exchequer (1951–55); Home Secretary (1957–62); Foreign Secretary (1963–64)
  5. Samuel . 1612–80, English poet and satirist; author of Hudibras (1663–78)
  6. Samuel . 1835–1902, British novelist, noted for his satirical work Erewhon (1872) and his autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh (1903)
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 under-butler



late 12c., from Anglo-French buteillier "cup-bearer," from Old French boteillier "cup-bearer, butler, officer in charge of wine," from boteille "wine vessel, bottle" (see bottle (n.)). The word reflects the position's original function as "chief servant in charge of wine." In Old French, fem. boteilliere was used of the Virgin Mary as "dispenser" of the cup of Mercy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper