but Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “but” in the English Dictionary

"but" in British English

See all translations

butconjunction

uk   strong /bʌt/ weak /bət/  us   /bʌt/  /bət/
A1 used to ​introduce an ​addedstatement, 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 ​simpleignorance. The play's good, but not that good - I've ​seenbetter. I'm ​sorry, but I ​think you're ​wrong when you say she did it ​deliberately. Call me ​old-fashioned, but I like ​handwrittenletters. I can ​understand his ​unhappiness. But to ​attemptsuicide! "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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

butpreposition, conjunction

uk   strong /bʌt/ /bət/  us   /bʌt/  /bət/
B1 except: Eventually, all but one of them ​promised to come to his ​birthdayparty. He's anything but ​violent (= not ​violent in any way). I would have ​crashed the ​car but foryourwarning. This is the lastepisode 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!

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

butadverb

uk   strong /bʌt/ /bət/  us   /bʌt/  /bət/

butnoun

uk   strong /bʌt/ /bət/  us   /bʌt/  /bət/
(Definition of but from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"but" in American English

See all translations

butconjunction

 us   /bʌt, bət/
  • but conjunction (DIFFERENCE)

used to ​express a ​difference or to ​introduce an ​addedstatement: You can take Route 14 to get there, but it may take you a little ​longer. We ​enjoyedourvacation a lot, but it was ​expensive.

butpreposition

 us   /bʌt, bət/
  • but preposition (EXCEPT)

except: Nobody but ​John was ​willing to ​talk to her. This ​car has been nothing but ​trouble – it’s always ​breaking down!
(Definition of but from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “but”
in Korean 그러나…
in Arabic ولَكِن…
in Malaysian tetapi…
in French mais…
in Russian но…
in Chinese (Traditional) 但是,不過, 而, 相反…
in Italian ma, però…
in Turkish fakat, ancak, ama…
in Polish ale…
in Spanish pero…
in Vietnamese nhưng mà…
in Portuguese mas…
in Thai แต่…
in German aber…
in Catalan però…
in Japanese しかし, だが…
in Chinese (Simplified) 但是,不过, 而, 相反…
in Indonesian tetapi…
What is the pronunciation of but?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Just who is driving this thing?
Just who is driving this thing?
by ,
May 03, 2016
by Colin McIntosh Do you remember Herbie the Love Bug? Herbie was a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle car in a string of Walt Disney movies. In typical Disney anthropomorphic style, Herbie goes his own way, falls in love, cries, plays jokes, and generally has a mind of his own. While the new driverless cars, like those being

Read More 

Word of the Day

star

a very large ball of burning gas in space that is usually seen from the earth as a point of light in the sky at night

Word of the Day

trigger warning noun
trigger warning noun
May 02, 2016
a warning that a subject may trigger unpleasant emotions or memories This is not, I should stress, an argument that trigger warnings should become commonplace on campus.

Read More