from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various insects of the order Lepidoptera, characteristically having slender bodies, knobbed antennae, and four broad, usually colorful wings.
- n. A person interested principally in frivolous pleasure: a social butterfly.
- n. Sports A swimming stroke in which a swimmer lying face down draws both arms upward out of the water, thrusts them forward, and draws them back under the water in an hourglass design while performing a dolphin kick.
- n. Sports A race or a leg of a race in which this stroke is swum.
- n. A feeling of unease or mild nausea caused especially by fearful anticipation.
- transitive v. To cut and spread open and flat, as shrimp.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A use of surgical tape, cut into thin strips and placed across an open wound to hold it closed.
- v. To cut almost entirely in half and spread the halves apart, in a shape suggesting the wings of a butterfly.
- v. To cut strips of surgical tape or plasters into thin strips, and place across a gaping wound to close it.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A general name for the numerous species of diurnal Lepidoptera.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The common English name of any diurnal lepidopterous insect; especially, one of the rhopalocerous Lepidoptera, corresponding to the old Linnean genus Papilio, called distinctively the butterflies. See Diurna, Rhopalocera, Lepidoptera, and Papilio.
- n. Figuratively, a person whose attention is given up to a variety of trifles of any kind; one incapable of steady application; a showily dressed, vain, and giddy person.
- n. A kind of flat made-up neck-tie.
- n. An herb otherwise called ragwort. Kersey, 1708.
- n. A local name for a mussel, Plagiola securis, found in the Mississippi river: so called from the shape of the valves. The shell is used in the pearl-button industry.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. diurnal insect typically having a slender body with knobbed antennae and broad colorful wings
- v. talk or behave amorously, without serious intentions
- n. a swimming stroke in which the arms are thrown forward together out of the water while the feet kick up and down
- v. flutter like a butterfly
- v. cut and spread open, as in preparation for cooking
Middle English butterflye, from Old English butorflēoge : butor, butere, butter; see butter + flēoge, fly; see fly2.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English buterflie, butturflye, boterflye, from Old English butorflēoge, buttorflēoge, buterflēoge, perhaps a compound of butor- 'beater', mutation of bēatan 'to beat', and flēoge 'fly'. More at beat and fly. (Wiktionary)