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Definition of "butterfly" []

  • Any of various insects of the order Lepidoptera, characteristically having slender bodies, knobbed antennae, and four broad, usually colorful wings. (noun)
  • A person interested principally in frivolous pleasure: a social butterfly. (noun)
  • Sports A swimming stroke in which a swimmer lying face down draws both arms upward out of the water, thrusts them forward, and draws them back under the water in an hourglass design while performing a dolphin kick. (noun)
  • Sports A race or a leg of a race in which this stroke is swum. (noun)
  • A feeling of unease or mild nausea caused especially by fearful anticipation. (noun)

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 "butterfly" in a sentence
  • "With an effort, he kept himself from using the term butterfly catchers, “... gentlemen.”"
  • "The term butterfly effect comes from chaos theory, where final outcomes can be completely unexpected given a very small initial impetus."
  • "One that I think of as a butterfly is a woman who “shelved” my kitty-cat."