from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A large open-headed cask, usually set up on end in an out-house or close to a dwelling, serving as a reservoir for rain- or pipe-water.
  • n. A water-beetle, as Dytiscus marginatns and related species.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • From the moment he enters and wakes up by doing a handstand in a water-butt and mixes a Prairie Oyster by putting the glass in his trousers and shaking his hips, Mark Rylance gives a historic performance as "Rooster" Byron, who is Lord of Misrule, Puck, Robin Hood and Socrates all rolled up in a single, unforgettable character.

    Smart and Snappy, 'Jumpy' Crackles

  • It was once the main residence at Leatherarse Gully, another bungalow with a low tin roof and veranda, with a water-butt at one corner.


  • A little while afterwards he had taken a new house, and was going headlong to ruin for want of a water-butt.

    Reprinted Pieces

  • I had my misgivings about the water-butt, and did not reply to that epistle.

    Reprinted Pieces

  • Sickened by walking backward with pails of water he carried till he could see and think of nothing in the world save the water-butt, the puddle in front of it, and the cattlemen mercilessly dipping out pails there, through centuries that would never end.

    Our Mr. Wrenn

  • Why, a woman as round and big as our largest water-butt - a rough, hard-favoured old girl.

    Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte

  • She beckoned mysteriously to the others and drew them into the back yard, and there, in a concealed spot, between the pump and the water-butt, she said: — “You remember Perks promising me the very first strawberries out of his own garden?”

    The Railway Children

  • She stood by the back door reflecting on these gloomy possibilities, her eyes fixed on the water-butt.

    The Railway Children

  • And like a water-butt the fat kindly-looking man goes rolling out of the yard.

    Through Russia

  • All this, and the feeling that it would never end, that such days had come for ever, with the pump drying up and the water-butt crawling, and the chalk ground hard as the moon.

    Cider With Rosie


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