General English


  • noun a fatty substance made from cream by churning


  • To apply mortar to a masonry unit with a trowel.
  • To spread roofing cement smoothly with a trowel.
  • To apply putty or compound sealant to a flat surface of a member before setting the member, such as buttering a stop before installing it.


  • The emulsion of milk in fat produced by churning (i.e. mechanically mixing) cream and containing about 80 per cent fat and 17 per cent water. There are roughly 1 billion separate liquid globules per gram. A variety of types of butter are produced depending on, the type of animal, the method of production, the season, added salt or acidification of the cream prior to churning.
  • A name given to various soft butter-like preserves made from fruits. Similar to fruit cheeses.


  • noun solid yellow fat made from cream

Origin & History of “butter”

The ultimate source of butter is Greek boútūron. this is usually said to be a compound noun, formed from boús ‘cow’ and tūros ‘cheese’, but not all etymologists accept the admittedly attractive hypothesis that butter was once ‘cow-cheese’, preferring to see the Greek word as a foreign borrowing. In Latin it became būtȳrum (from which came French beurre), which was borrowed into the west Germanic languages, producing English and German butter and Dutch boter.