Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “but”

See all translations

but

conjunction uk   strong /bʌt/ weak /bət/ us  
A1 used to introduce an added statement, usually something that is different from what you have said before: She's very hard-working but not very imaginative. This is not caused by evil, but by simple ignorance. The play's good, but not that good - I've seen better. I'm sorry, but I think you're wrong when you say she did it deliberately. Call me old-fashioned, but I like handwritten letters. I can understand his unhappiness. But to attempt suicide! "She said she's leaving." "But why?" You can invite Keith to the party, but please don't ask that friend of his. We must not complain about the problem, but (= instead we must) help to put it right. She's not a painter but a writer (= she is a writer, not a painter). She's not only a painter but also a writer (= she is both). UK He said he hadn't been there, but then (= it is not surprising that) he would say that. UK I think it's true, but then (= it should be understood that), I'm no expert.
More examples

but

preposition, conjunction uk   strong /bʌt/ weak /bət/ us  
B1 except: Eventually, all but one of them promised to come to his birthday party. He's anything but violent (= not violent in any way). I would have crashed the car but for your warning. This is the last episode but one (= one before the last) of the series. She's one of those guests who does nothing but complain. This car has been nothing but trouble - it's always breaking down!
More examples

but

but

noun uk   strong /bʌt/ weak /bət/ us  
no buts (about it) used to emphasize that something will happen even if the person you are talking to does not want it to: We're going to visit your aunt tomorrow and there'll be no buts about it.
Translations of “but”
in Korean 그러나…
in Arabic ولَكِن…
in French mais…
in Turkish fakat, ancak, ama…
in Italian ma, però…
in Chinese (Traditional) 但是,不過, 而, 相反…
in Russian но…
in Polish ale…
in Spanish pero…
in Portuguese mas…
in German aber…
in Catalan però…
in Japanese しかし, だが…
in Chinese (Simplified) 但是,不过, 而, 相反…
(Definition of but from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of but?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “but” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

derivative

If something is derivative, it is not the result of new ideas, but has been developed from or copies something else.

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More