from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that serves as an object of ridicule or contempt.
  • noun A target, as in archery or riflery.
  • noun A target range.
  • noun An obstacle behind a target for stopping the shot.
  • noun An embankment or hollow used as a blind by hunters of wildfowl.
  • noun Archaic A goal.
  • noun Obsolete A bound; a limit.
  • noun The larger or thicker end of an object.
  • noun An unburned end, as of a cigarette.
  • noun Informal A cigarette.
  • noun A short or broken remnant; a stub.
  • noun Informal The buttocks; the rear end.
  • adverb Slang Very. Used as an intensive.
  • intransitive verb To hit or push against with the head or horns; ram.
  • intransitive verb To hit or push something with the head or horns.
  • intransitive verb To project forward or out.
  • noun A push or blow with the head or horns.
  • noun A large cask.
  • noun A unit of volume equal to two hogsheads, usually the equivalent of 126 US gallons (about 477 liters).
  • transitive & intransitive verb To join or be joined end to end; abut.
  • noun A butt joint.
  • noun A butt hinge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A leathern bottle or flask; a bucket: in this sense only in Middle English, usually spelled bit or bitt.
  • noun A large cask, especially one to contain wine.
  • noun A measure of wine equal to 126 United States (that is, old wine) gallons; a pipe.
  • noun A beehive.
  • noun A cart.
  • noun The end or extremity of a thing.
  • noun In ship-building, the end of a plank or piece of timber which exactly meets another endwise in a ship's side or bottom; also, the juncture of two such pieces.
  • noun In machinery, the square end of a connecting-rod or other link, to which the bush-bearing is attached.
  • noun In carpentry, a door-hinge consisting of two plates of metal, or leaves, which interlock so as to form a movable joint, being held together by a pin or pintle.
  • noun In agriculture: A ridge in a plowed field, especially when not of full length. Hence— A gore or gare. plural A small detached or disjoined parcel of land left over in surveying.
  • noun In the leather trade, a hide of sole-leather with the belly and shoulders cut off; a rounded crop.
  • noun A hassock.
  • noun The standing portion of a half-coupling at the end of a hose; the metallic ring at the end of the hose of a fire-engine, or the like, to which the nozle is screwed.
  • noun In target-shooting: In archery, a mark to shoot at. In rifle-practice, a wooden target composed of several thicknesses of boards, with small spaces between them, so that the depth to which bullets penetrate can be ascertained. In gunnery, a solid embankment of earth or sand into which projectiles are fired in testing guns, or in making ballistic experiments. plural The range or place where archery, rifle, or gunnery practice is carried on, in distinction from the field. See target.
  • noun A person or thing that serves as a mark for shafts of wit or ridicule, or as an object of sarcastic or contemptuous remarks.
  • noun A goal; a bound; a limit.
  • noun In coal-mininig, the surface of the coal which is at right angles to the face.
  • noun A shoemakers' knife.
  • noun Also spelled but.
  • noun See but.
  • noun A push or thrust given by the head of an animal: as, the butt of a ram.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English butte, target, from Old French, from but, goal, end, target; see butt.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English butte, from Old French but, end, of Germanic origin.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English butten, from Old French bouter, to strike, of Germanic origin; see bhau- in Indo-European roots.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French boute, from Late Latin *buttia, variant of buttis.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English butten, from Anglo-Norman butter (variant of Old French bouter; see butt) and from but, end; see butt.]


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  • for a cigarette, my old man says cigabutt.

    March 14, 2007

  • A unit of volume equal to two hogsheads or 126 gallons.

    November 7, 2007

  • Ah yes, that old legend about George, duke of Clarence being drowned in a butt of malmsey wine in the Tower of London... It does seem that 126 gallons would be enough to do the trick.

    November 7, 2007

  • And I cannot lie.

    November 7, 2007

  • Clearly this word most commonly refers to the "thick end of the handle," and not, as I mistakenly believed, a person's posterior. Thank you, WordNet!

    November 8, 2007

  • I randomed this, honestly! *facepalm*

    August 7, 2008

  • I especially like WeirdNET's fourth and eighth definitions. WTF?

    August 7, 2008

  • 'equipment needed to participate in a particular sport' was the one that mystified me. I hope Chinese authorities have ensured an adequate supply of butts for the Olympic Games.

    August 7, 2008

  • Actually... You need butts (of a sort) to participate in archery, which is an Olympic sport. *is a bit stunned that bilby's bizarre assertion is somewhat accurate*

    And what's with that last definition? Oh Weirdnet. You're so weird.

    August 7, 2008

  • Yes, definition #4 is exquisite: "Something determined in relation to something that includes it." Oh, WeirdNet. You're always so . . . precise.

    August 7, 2008

  • But, but ...

    August 7, 2008

  • Don't 'thick end of the handle' me, with your but buts.


    Where IS AbraxasZugzwang anyhow?!

    August 7, 2008

  • He's crying for us, in Argentina.

    August 8, 2008

  • "In case any men continued to leave alcohol production to women, the new experts assured them that they were wrong. Morrice warned that 'when a butt wants fining down, many appoint a servant girl to perform that office by whom the bungs are left out, and many other acts committed, which all tend to discredit the brewer, although he does not deserve it."

    —Sarah Hand Meacham, Every Home a Distillery: Alcohol, Gender, and Technology in the Colonial Chesapeake (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), 98

    I'm not sure any young servant girl ought properly to know how to fine down a butt.

    June 9, 2010

  • 126 gallons. Composed of two hogsheads.

    August 29, 2010

  • Obsolete spelling of but.

    December 4, 2017