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Definition of "but" [but]

  • On the contrary: the plan caused not prosperity but ruin. (conjunction)
  • Contrary to expectation; yet: She organized her work but accomplished very little. He is tired but happy. (conjunction)
  • Usage Problem Used to indicate an exception: No one but she saw the prowler. (conjunction)
  • With the exception that; except that. Often used with that: would have joined the band but he couldn't spare the time; would have resisted but that they lacked courage. (conjunction)
  • Informal Without the result that: It never rains but it pours. (conjunction)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "but" in a sentence
  • "I must have been nuts, but as I say, it's a special night, so I clap my hands and make a few wolf whistles just to be cute,  but then I get to thinking she looks cuckoo up there,  poor thing."
  • "  It took Britain 341 years to name a woman to the highly-prestigious but low-paid post of poet laureate,  but Carol Ann Duffy, the first female and the first openly bisexual holder of the post as well,  has made up for lost time."
  • "I had a tiny bit less love for Idess, but I think it is because Sin overpowered in the book..but I adored Sin...oh, I can't wait for her book :"