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on the contrary; yet:
My brother went, but I did not.
except; save:
She was so overcome with grief she could do nothing but weep.
unless; if not; except that (followed by a clause, often with that expressed):
Nothing would do but that I should come in.
without the circumstance that:
It never rains but it pours.
otherwise than:
There is no hope but by prayer.
that (used especially after doubt, deny, etc., with a negative):
I don’t doubt but he will do it.
who not; that not:
No leaders worthy of the name ever existed but they were optimists.
(used as an intensifier to introduce an exclamatory expression):
But she’s beautiful!
Informal. than:
It no sooner started raining but it stopped.
with the exception of; except; save:
No one replied but me.
only; just:
There is but one God.
buts, reservations or objections:
You’ll do as you’re told, no buts about it.
but for, except for; were it not for:
But for the excessive humidity, it might have been a pleasant day.
but what. what (def 25).
the outer or front room of a house; the outer or front apartment in an apartment house.
the kitchen of a two-room dwelling, especially of a cottage.
Contemporary Examples

Why Eric Cantor Bailed Patricia Murphy June 23, 2011

Historical Examples

Reports of the Committee on the Conduct of the War United States Senate
Charmides Plato
Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
The Life of a Celebrated Buccaneer Richard Clynton
Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, December 2, 1914 Various
The Uncalled Paul Laurence Dunbar
A harum-scarum schoolgirl Angela Brazil
The Captain’s Toll-Gate Frank R. Stockton

conjunction (coordinating)
contrary to expectation: he cut his knee but didn’t cry
in contrast; on the contrary: I like opera but my husband doesn’t
(usually used after a negative) other than: we can’t do anything but wait
conjunction (subordinating)
(usually used after a negative) without it happening or being the case that: we never go out but it rains
(foll by that) except that: nothing is impossible but that we live forever
(archaic) if not; unless
sentence connector
(informal) used to introduce an exclamation: my, but you’re nice
except; save: they saved all but one of the pigs
but for, were it not for: but for you, we couldn’t have managed
just; merely; only: he was but a child, I can but try
(Scot & Austral, NZ, informal) though; however: it’s a rainy day: warm, but
all but, almost; practically: he was all but dead when we found him
an objection (esp in the phrase ifs and buts)
the outer room of a two-roomed cottage: usually the kitchen
preposition, adverb
in or into the outer part (of a house) Compare ben1
adv., prep.

but for
but good


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