Definition of butter

Definition of butter DEFAULT

Meaning of butter in English

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This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.

This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.


the fatty portion of milk, separating as a soft whitish or yellowish solid when milk or cream is agitated or churned.

this substance, processed for cooking and table use.

any of various other soft spreads for bread: apple butter; peanut butter.

any of various substances of butterlike consistency, as various metallic chlorides, and certain vegetable oils solid at ordinary temperatures.

verb (used with object)

to put butter on or in; spread or grease with butter.

to apply a liquefied bonding material to (a piece or area), as mortar to a course of bricks.

Metalworking. to cover (edges to be welded together) with a preliminary surface of the weld metal.

Verb Phrases

butter up,Informal. to flatter someone in order to gain a favor: He suspected that they were buttering him up when everyone suddenly started being nice to him.



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

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Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Origin of butter

before 1000; Middle English; Old English butere<Latin būtȳrum<Greek boútȳron




budder, butter

Words nearby butter

butt bra, butt chisel, butt-dial, butte, butt end, butter, butter-and-egg man, butter-and-eggs, butterball, butter bean, butterbread Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use butter in a sentence

  • All the downsides of popcorn but none of the good butter grease.

    The Rise and Fall of the Rice Cake, America’s One-Time Favorite Health Snack|Brenna Houck|September 17, 2020|Eater

  • Company-provided data show that while travelers are booking almost twice as many remote stays as last year, home rentals in urban markets—Airbnb’s bread and butter—are still struggling.

    Airbnb CEO: The pandemic will force us to see more of the world, not less|Verne Kopytoff|September 7, 2020|Fortune

  • A 19th-century Pennsylvania Dutch doctor’s manual instructs its reader to inscribe the square in butter smeared on a piece of bread and eat it as a cure for rabies.

    The ancient palindrome that explains Christopher Nolan’s Tenet|Alissa Wilkinson|September 4, 2020|Vox

  • The consumer piece was easier to fix—sell, don’t store, the butter.

    Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford explains why farmers need broadband|Ellen McGirt|August 18, 2020|Fortune

  • It is the large quantities of salt and the sodium in the butters that are used to season them that can lead to high blood pressure.

    Is It Time to Put Down Soul Food?|Tyler Brady|November 27, 2017|

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

    Make ‘The Chew’s’ Carla Hall’s Sticky Toffee Pudding|Carla Hall|December 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • While the beans are cooling and drying, melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat.

    Make Carla Hall’s Crispy Shallot Green Bean Casserole|Carla Hall|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • “Butter has always been a healthy part of the diet in almost every culture; butter is a traditional food,” Asprey says.

    Bulletproof Coffee and the Case for Butter as a Health Food|DailyBurn|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Now, his new book “The Bulletproof Diet,” claims to offer a weight loss solution that lets you have your butter, and eat it too.

    Bulletproof Coffee and the Case for Butter as a Health Food|DailyBurn|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • By Amanda Woerner for Life by DailyBurn Butter is making a comeback—and it has nothing to do with Paula Deen.

    Bulletproof Coffee and the Case for Butter as a Health Food|DailyBurn|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • The sailors sometimes use it to fry their meat, for want of butter, and find it agreeable enough.

    The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner (1801)|Daniel Defoe

  • You see, they always butter their chairs so that they won't stick fast when they sit down.

    Davy and The Goblin|Charles E. Carryl

  • The former, in its frozen state, somewhat resembled hard butter.

    The Giant of the North|R.M. Ballantyne

  • He shall eat butter and honey, that he may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.

    The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version|Various

  • Your electro-plated butter-dish, or whatever it's going to be, will be simply flung back at you.

    First Plays|A. A. Milne

British Dictionary definitions for butter


  1. an edible fatty whitish-yellow solid made from cream by churning, for cooking and table use
  2. (as modifier)butter icing Related adjective: butyraceous

any substance with a butter-like consistency, such as peanut butter or vegetable butter

look as if butter wouldn't melt in one's mouthto look innocent, although probably not so


to put butter on or in

to flatter

See also butter up

Word Origin for butter

Old English butere, from Latin būtyrum, from Greek bouturon, from bous cow + turos cheese

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for butter


A soft yellowish or whitish emulsion of butterfat, water, air, and sometimes salt, churned from milk or cream and processed for use in cooking and as a food.

A soft solid having at room temperature a consistency like that of butter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Other Idioms and Phrases with butter

In addition to the idioms beginning with butter

  • butter up
  • butter wouldn't melt in one's mouth

also see:

  • bread and butter
  • bread-and-butter letter
  • know which side of bread is buttered

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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For other uses, see Butter (disambiguation).

dairy product

Butter is a dairy product made from the fat and protein components of churned cream. It is a semi-solid emulsion at room temperature, consisting of approximately 80% butterfat. It is used at room temperature as a spread, melted as a condiment, and used as an ingredient in baking, sauce making, pan frying, and other cooking procedures.

Most frequently made from cow's milk, butter can also be manufactured from the milk of other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, and yaks. It is made by churning milk or cream to separate the fat globules from the buttermilk. Salt and food colorings are sometimes added to butter. Rendering butter, removing the water and milk solids, produces clarified butter or ghee, which is almost entirely butterfat.

Butter is a water-in-oil emulsion resulting from an inversion of the cream, where the milk proteins are the emulsifiers. Butter remains a firm solid when refrigerated, but softens to a spreadable consistency at room temperature, and melts to a thin liquid consistency at 32 to 35 °C (90 to 95 °F). The density of butter is 911 grams per litre (0.950 lb per US pint).[1] It generally has a pale yellow color, but varies from deep yellow to nearly white. Its natural, unmodified color is dependent on the source animal's feed and genetics, but the commercial manufacturing process commonly manipulates the color with food colorings like annatto[2] or carotene.


The word butter derives (via Germanic languages) from the Latinbutyrum,[3] which is the latinisation of the Greek βούτυρον (bouturon).[4][5] This may be a compound of βοῦς (bous), "ox, cow"[6] + τυρός (turos), "cheese", that is "cow-cheese".[7][8] The word turos ("cheese") is attested in Mycenaean Greek.[9] The latinized form is found in the name butyric acid, a compound found in rancid butter[10] and dairy products such as Parmesan cheese.[11]


Main article: Churning (butter)

Churning cream into butter using a hand-held mixer.

Unhomogenized milk and cream contain butterfat in microscopic globules. These globules are surrounded by membranes made of phospholipids (fatty acidemulsifiers) and proteins, which prevent the fat in milk from pooling together into a single mass. Butter is produced by agitating cream, which damages these membranes and allows the milk fats to conjoin, separating from the other parts of the cream. Variations in the production method will create butters with different consistencies, mostly due to the butterfat composition in the finished product. Butter contains fat in three separate forms: free butterfat, butterfat crystals, and undamaged fat globules. In the finished product, different proportions of these forms result in different consistencies within the butter; butters with many crystals are harder than butters dominated by free fats.[citation needed]

Churning produces small butter grains floating in the water-based portion of the cream. This watery liquid is called buttermilk—although the buttermilk most common today is instead a directly fermented skimmed milk.[12] The buttermilk is drained off; sometimes more buttermilk is removed by rinsing the grains with water. Then the grains are "worked": pressed and kneaded together. When prepared manually, this is done using wooden boards called scotch hands. This consolidates the butter into a solid mass and breaks up embedded pockets of buttermilk or water into tiny droplets.[citation needed]

Commercial butter is about 80% butterfat and 15% water; traditionally made butter may have as little as 65% fat and 30% water. Butterfat is a mixture of triglyceride, a triester derived from glycerol and three of any of several fatty acid groups.[13]


Chart of milk products and production relationships, including butter.

Before modern factory butter making, cream was usually collected from several milkings and was therefore several days old and somewhat fermented by the time it was made into butter. Butter made from a fermented cream is known as cultured butter. During fermentation, the cream naturally sours as bacteria convert milk sugars into lactic acid. The fermentation process produces additional aroma compounds, including diacetyl, which makes for a fuller-flavored and more "buttery" tasting product.[14]: 35 

Dairy products are often pasteurized during production to kill pathogenic bacteria and other microbes. Butter made from pasteurized fresh cream is called sweet cream butter. Production of sweet cream butter first became common in the 19th century, with the development of refrigeration and the mechanical cream separator.[14]: 33 

Cultured butter is preferred throughout continental Europe, while sweet cream butter dominates in the United States and the United Kingdom. Cultured butter is sometimes labeled "European-style" butter in the United States, although cultured butter is made and sold by some, especially Amish, dairies. Commercial raw cream butter is virtually unheard-of in the United States. Raw cream butter is generally only found made at home by consumers who have purchased raw whole milk directly from dairy farmers, skimmed the cream themselves, and made butter with it. It is rare in Europe as well.[14]: 34 

Clarified butter

Clarified butter is butter with almost all of its water and milk solids removed, leaving almost-pure butterfat. Clarified butter is made by heating butter to its melting point and then allowing it to cool; after settling, the remaining components separate by density. At the top, whey proteins form a skin, which is removed. The resulting butterfat is then poured off from the mixture of water and casein proteins that settle to the bottom.[14]: 37 

Ghee is clarified butter that has been heated to around 120 °C (250 °F) after the water evaporated, turning the milk solids brown. This process flavors the ghee, and also produces antioxidants that help protect it from rancidity. Because of this, ghee can be kept for six to eight months under normal conditions.[14]: 37 

Whey butter

Butter made in a barn; Dutch painting by Jan Spanjaert.

Cream may be separated (usually by a centrifuge or a sedimentation) from whey instead of milk, as a byproduct of cheese-making. Whey butter may be made from whey cream. Whey cream and butter have a lower fat content and taste more salty, tangy and "cheesy".[15] They are also cheaper than "sweet" cream and butter. The fat content of whey is low, so 1000 pounds of whey will typically give 3 pounds of butter.[16][17]

European butters

There are several butters produced in Europe with protected geographical indications; these include:


Traditional butter-making in Palestine. Ancient techniques were still practiced in the early 20th century. National Geographic, March 1914.

The earliest butter would have been from sheep or goat's milk; cattle are not thought to have been domesticated for another thousand years.[19]

In the Mediterranean climate, unclarified butter spoils quickly, unlike cheese, so it is not a practical method of preserving the nutrients of milk. The ancient Greeks and Romans seemed to have considered butter a food fit more for the northern barbarians. A play by the Greek comic poet Anaxandrides refers to Thracians as boutyrophagoi, "butter-eaters".[20] In his Natural History, Pliny the Elder calls butter "the most delicate of food among barbarous nations" and goes on to describe its medicinal properties.[21] Later, the physician Galen also described butter as a medicinal agent only.[22]

Middle Ages

Woman churning butter; Compost et Kalendrier des Bergères, Paris 1499

In the cooler climates of northern Europe, people could store butter longer before it spoiled. Scandinavia has the oldest tradition in Europe of butter export trade, dating at least to the 12th century.[23] After the fall of Rome and through much of the Middle Ages, butter was a common food across most of Europe—but had a low reputation, and so was consumed principally by peasants. Butter slowly became more accepted by the upper class, notably when the early 16th century Roman Catholic Church allowed its consumption during Lent. Bread and butter became common fare among the middle class and the English, in particular, gained a reputation for their liberal use of melted butter as a sauce with meat and vegetables.[14]: 33 

In antiquity, butter was used for fuel in lamps, as a substitute for oil. The Butter Tower of Rouen Cathedral was erected in the early 16th century when Archbishop Georges d'Amboise authorized the burning of butter during Lent, instead of oil, which was scarce at the time.[24]

Across northern Europe, butter was sometimes treated in a manner unheard-of today: it was packed into barrels (firkins) and buried in peat bogs, perhaps for years. Such "bog butter" would develop a strong flavor as it aged, but remain edible, in large part because of the unique cool, airless, antiseptic and acidic environment of a peat bog. Firkins of such buried butter are a common archaeological find in Ireland; the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology has some containing "a grayish cheese-like substance, partially hardened, not much like butter, and quite free from putrefaction." The practice was most common in Ireland in the 11th–14th centuries; it ended entirely before the 19th century.[23]


Like Ireland, France became well known for its butter, particularly in Normandy and Brittany. Butter consumption in London in the mid 1840s was estimated at 15,357 tons annually.[25]

Gustaf de Laval's centrifugalcream separator sped up the butter-making process.

Until the 19th century, the vast majority of butter was made by hand, on farms. The first butter factories appeared in the United States in the early 1860s, after the successful introduction of cheese factories a decade earlier. In the late 1870s, the centrifugalcream separator was introduced, marketed most successfully by Swedish engineer Carl Gustaf Patrik de Laval.[26]

In 1920, Otto Hunziker authored The Butter Industry, Prepared for Factory, School and Laboratory,[27] a well-known text in the industry that enjoyed at least three editions (1920, 1927, 1940). As part of the efforts of the American Dairy Science Association, Professor Hunziker and others published articles regarding: causes of tallowiness[28] (an odor defect, distinct from rancidity, a taste defect); mottles[29] (an aesthetic issue related to uneven color); introduced salts;[30] the impact of creamery metals[31] and liquids;[32] and acidity measurement.[33] These and other ADSA publications helped standardize practices internationally.

Butter also provided extra income to farm families. They used wood presses with carved decoration to press butter into pucks or small bricks to sell at nearby markets or general stores. The decoration identified the farm that produced the butter. This practice continued until production was mechanized and butter was produced in less decorative stick form.[34]

Butter consumption declined in most western nations during the 20th century, mainly because of the rising popularity of margarine, which is less expensive and, until recent years, was perceived as being healthier. In the United States, margarine consumption overtook butter during the 1950s,[35] and it is still the case today that more margarine than butter is eaten in the U.S. and the EU.[36]

Worldwide production

Butter market, Lhasa, Tibet, 1993

In 1997, India produced 1,470,000 metric tons (1,620,000 short tons) of butter, most of which was consumed domestically.[37] Second in production was the United States (522,000 t or 575,000 short tons), followed by France (466,000 t or 514,000 short tons), Germany (442,000 t or 487,000 short tons), and New Zealand (307,000 t or 338,000 short tons). France ranks first in per capita butter consumption with 8 kg per capita per year.[38] In terms of absolute consumption, Germany was second after India, using 578,000 metric tons (637,000 short tons) of butter in 1997, followed by France (528,000 t or 582,000 short tons), Russia (514,000 t or 567,000 short tons), and the United States (505,000 t or 557,000 short tons). New Zealand, Australia, and Ukraine are among the few nations that export a significant percentage of the butter they produce.[39]

Different varieties are found around the world. Smen is a spiced Moroccan clarified butter, buried in the ground and aged for months or years. A similar product is maltash of the Hunza Valley, where cow and yak butter can be buried for decades, and is used at events such as weddings.[40]Yak butter is a specialty in Tibet; tsampa, barley flour mixed with yak butter, is a staple food. Butter tea is consumed in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and India. It consists of tea served with intensely flavored—or "rancid"—yak butter and salt. In African and Asiandeveloping nations, butter is traditionally made from sour milk rather than cream. It can take several hours of churning to produce workable butter grains from fermented milk.[41]

World butter production (cow's milk) and main producing countries in 2018:

CountryProduction, 2018
1  United States892,801
2  New Zealand502,000
3  Germany484,047
4  France352,400
5  Russia257,883
6  Ireland237,800
7  Turkey215,431
8  Iran183,125
9  Poland177,260
10  Mexico153,674
11  United Kingdom152,000
12  Canada116,144
13  Belarus115,199
14  Brazil109,100
15  Ukraine100,000
Source : FAOSTAT


Normal butter softens to a spreadable consistency around 15 °C (60 °F), well above refrigerator temperatures. The "butter compartment" found in many refrigerators may be one of the warmer sections inside, but it still leaves butter quite hard. Until recently, many refrigerators sold in New Zealand featured a "butter conditioner", a compartment kept warmer than the rest of the refrigerator—but still cooler than room temperature—with a small heater.[42] Keeping butter tightly wrapped delays rancidity, which is hastened by exposure to light or air, and also helps prevent it from picking up other odors. Wrapped butter has a shelf life of several months at refrigerator temperatures.[43] Butter can also be frozen to further extend its storage life.[44]


United States

In the United States, butter has traditionally been made into small, rectangular blocks by means of a pair of wooden butter paddles. It is usually produced in 4-ounce (1⁄4 lb; 110 g) sticks that are individually wrapped in waxed or foiled paper, and sold as a 1 pound (0.45 kg) package of 4 sticks. This practice is believed to have originated in 1907, when Swift and Company began packaging butter in this manner for mass distribution.[45]

Western-pack shape unsalted butter
Eastern-pack shape salted butter

Due to historical differences in butter printers (machines that cut and package butter),[46] 4-ounce sticks are commonly produced in two different shapes:

  • The dominant shape east of the Rocky Mountains is the Elgin, or Eastern-pack shape, named for a dairy in Elgin, Illinois. The sticks measure 4+3⁄4 by 1+1⁄4 by 1+1⁄4 inches (121 mm × 32 mm × 32 mm) and are typically sold stacked two by two in elongated cube-shaped boxes.[46]
  • West of the Rocky Mountains, butter printers standardized on a different shape that is now referred to as the Western-pack shape. These butter sticks measure 3+1⁄4 by 1+1⁄2 by 1+1⁄2 inches (83 mm × 38 mm × 38 mm)[47] and are usually sold with four sticks packed side-by-side in a flat, rectangular box.[46]

Most butter dishes are designed for Elgin-style butter sticks.[46]


Outside of the United States, butter is measured for sale by mass (rather than by volume or unit/stick), and is sold in 250 g (8.8 oz) and 500 g (18 oz) packages.

Bulk packaging

Since the 1940s,[48] but more commonly the 1960s,[49] butter pats have been individually wrapped and packed in cardboard boxes. Prior to use of cardboard, butter was bulk packed in wood. The earliest discoveries used firkins. From about 1882 wooden boxes were used, as the introduction of refrigeration on ships brought about longer transit times. Butter boxes were generally made with woods whose resin would not taint the butter,[48] such as sycamore,[49]kahikatea,[50]hoop pine,[51]maple, or spruce.[48] They commonly weighed a firkin - 56 pounds (25 kg).[48]

In cooking and gastronomy

Donnez-moi du beurre, encore du beurre, toujours du beurre!

— Fernand Point

Butter has been considered indispensable in French cuisine since the 17th century.[52] Chefs and cooks have extolled its importance: Fernand Point said "Donnez-moi du beurre, encore du beurre, toujours du beurre!" ('Give me butter, more butter, still more butter!');[53]Julia Child said "With enough butter, anything is good."[54]

Mixing melted butter with chocolate to make a brownie.

Melted butter plays an important role in the preparation of sauces, notably in French cuisine. Beurre noisette (hazelnut butter) and Beurre noir (black butter) are sauces of melted butter cooked until the milk solids and sugars have turned golden or dark brown; they are often finished with an addition of vinegar or lemon juice.[14]: 36 Hollandaise and béarnaise sauces are emulsions of egg yolk and melted butter; they are in essence mayonnaises made with butter instead of oil. Hollandaise and béarnaise sauces are stabilized with the powerful emulsifiers in the egg yolks, but butter itself contains enough emulsifiers—mostly remnants of the fat globule membranes—to form a stable emulsion on its own.[14]: 635–636 

Beurre blanc (white butter) is made by whisking butter into reduced vinegar or wine, forming an emulsion with the texture of thick cream. Beurre monté (prepared butter) is melted but still emulsified butter; it lends its name to the practice of "mounting" a sauce with butter: whisking cold butter into any water-based sauce at the end of cooking, giving the sauce a thicker body and a glossy shine—as well as a buttery taste.[14]: 632 

Butter is used for sautéing and frying, although its milk solids brown and burn above 150 °C (250 °F)—a rather low temperature for most applications. The smoke point of butterfat is around 200 °C (400 °F), so clarified butter or ghee is better suited to frying.[14]: 37 

Butter fills several roles in baking, where it is used in a similar manner as other solid fats like lard, suet, or shortening, but has a flavor that may better complement sweet baked goods.

Nutritional information

See also: Butterfat

As butter is essentially just the milk fat, it contains only traces of lactose, so moderate consumption of butter is not a problem for lactose intolerant people.[55] People with milk allergies may still need to avoid butter, which contains enough of the allergy-causing proteins to cause reactions.[56] Whole milk, butter and cream have high levels of saturated fat.[57][58]

Health concerns

A 2015 study concluded that "hypercholesterolemic people should keep their consumption of butter to a minimum, whereas moderate butter intake may be considered part of the diet in the normocholesterolemic population."[75]

A meta-analysis and systematic review published in 2016 found relatively small or neutral overall associations of butter with mortality, CVD, and diabetes. The study further states that "findings do not support a need for major emphasis in dietary guidelines on either increasing or decreasing butter consumption."[76][77]

See also


  1. ^Elert, Glenn. "Density". The Physics Hypertextbook. Archived from the original on 19 August 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  2. ^"A Substitute for 'Annatto' in Butter". Nature. Nature. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  3. ^butyrumArchived 27 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, on Perseus
  4. ^βούτυρονArchived 17 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  5. ^butterArchived 14 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Oxford Dictionaries
  6. ^βοῦςArchived 17 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  7. ^τυρόςArchived 16 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  8. ^Beekes, Robert Stephen Paul, and Lucien Van Beek. Etymological dictionary of Greek. Vol. 2. Leiden: Brill, 2014
  9. ^PalaeolexiconArchived 4 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Word study tool of ancient languages
  10. ^Widder, Sabine; Sen, Alina; Grosch, Werner (1 July 1991). "Changes in the flavour of butter oil during storage". Zeitschrift für Lebensmittel-Untersuchung und Forschung. 193 (1): 32–35. doi:10.1007/BF01192013. ISSN 1438-2385. S2CID 82639499.
  11. ^Perko, B.; Habjan-Penca, V.; Godic, K. (Biotehniska fakulteta (1988). "Biochemical parameters of retarded fermentation of Parmesan cheese".
  12. ^Morin, P.; Pouliot, Y.; Jiménez-Flores, R. (1 December 2006). "A comparative study of the fractionation of regular buttermilk and whey buttermilk by microfiltration". Journal of Food Engineering. 77 (3): 521–528. doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2005.06.065. ISSN 0260-8774.
  13. ^Rolf Jost "Milk and Dairy Products" Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2002. doi:10.1002/14356007.a16_589.pub3
  14. ^ abcdefghijMcGee, Harold (2004). On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. New York, New York: Scribner. ISBN . LCCN 2004058999. OCLC 56590708.
  15. ^"Article on sweet cream, whey cream, and the butters they produce". Kosher. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  16. ^Charles Thom, Walter Fisk, The Book of Cheese, 1918, reprinted in 2007 as ISBN 1429010746, p. 296
  17. ^Doane, Charles Francis (12 November 2017). "Whey butter". Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry. Archived from the original on 28 May 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017 – via Internet Archive.
  18. ^"No buts, it's Rucava butter!". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. LETA. 6 September 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  19. ^Dates from McGee p. 10.
  20. ^Dalby p. 65.
  21. ^Bostock and Riley translation. Book 28, chapter 35.
  22. ^Galen. de aliment. facult.
  23. ^ abWeb Exhibits: Butter. Ancient FirkinsArchived 21 October 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^Soyer, Alexis (1977) [1853]. The Pantropheon or a History of Food and its Preparation in Ancient Times. Wisbech, Cambs.: Paddington Press. p. 172. ISBN .
  25. ^The National Cyclopaedia of Useful Knowledge, Vol.III, London (1847) Charles Knight, p.975.
  26. ^Edwards, Everett E. "Europe's Contribution to the American Dairy Industry". The Journal of Economic History, Volume 9, 1949. 72-84.
  27. ^Hunziker, O F (1920). The Butter Industry, Prepared for Factory, School and Laboratory. LaGrange, IL: author.
  28. ^Hunziker, O F; D. Fay Hosman (1 November 1917). "Tallowy Butter—its Causes and Prevention". Journal of Dairy Science. American Dairy Science Association. 1 (4): 320–346. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(17)94386-3.
  29. ^Hunziker, O F; D. Fay Hosman (1 March 1920). "Mottles in Butter—Their Causes and Prevention". Journal of Dairy Science. American Dairy Science Association. 3 (2): 77–106. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(20)94253-4.
  30. ^Hunziker, O F; W. A. Cordes; B. H. Nissen (1 September 1929). "Studies on Butter Salts". Journal of Dairy Science. American Dairy Science Association. 11 (5): 333–351. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(28)93647-4.
  31. ^Hunziker, O F; W. A. Cordes; B. H. Nissen (1 March 1929). "Metals in Dairy Equipment. Metallic Corrosion in Milk Products and its Effect on Flavor". Journal of Dairy Science. American Dairy Science Association. 12 (2): 140–181. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(29)93566-9.
  32. ^Hunziker, O F; W. A. Cordes; B. H. Nissen (1 May 1929). "Metals in Dairy Equipment: Corrosion Caused by Washing Powders, Chemical Sterilizers, and Refrigerating Brines". Journal of Dairy Science. American Dairy Science Association. 12 (3): 252–284. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(29)93575-X.
  33. ^Hunziker, O F; W. A. Cordes; B. H. Nissen (1 July 1931). "Method for Hydrogen Ion Determination of Butter". Journal of Dairy Science. American Dairy Science Association. 14 (4): 347–37. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(31)93478-4.
  34. ^Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell (1857). Mrs. Hale's new cook book.
  35. ^Web Exhibits: Butter. Eating less butter, and more fatArchived 14 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. ^See for example this chartArchived 8 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine from International Margarine Association of the Countries of Europe statisticsArchived 30 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 4 December 2005.
  37. ^Most nations produce and consume the bulk of their butter domestically.
  38. ^"Envoyé spécial". francetv info. Archived from the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  39. ^Statistics from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (1999). Dairy: Word Markets and TradeArchived 23 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 1 December 2005. The export and import figures do not include trade between nations within the European Union, and there are inconsistencies regarding the inclusion of clarified butterfat products (explaining why New Zealand is shown exporting more butter in 1997 than was produced).
  40. ^Salopek, Paul (23 January 2018). "Here, the Homemade Butter Is Aged for Half a Century". National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 24 January 2018.
  41. ^Crawford et al., part B, section III, ch. 1: ButterArchived 3 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 28 November 2005.
  42. ^Bring back butter conditionersArchived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 27 November 2005. The feature has been phased out for energy conservation reasons.
  43. ^How Long Does Butter Last?Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 03, October 2014.
  44. ^Webb, Byron H.; Arbuckle, Wendell S. (1977), Desrosier, Norman W.; Tressler, Donald K. (eds.), "Freezing of Dairy Products", Fundamentals of Food Freezing, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, pp. 357–395, doi:10.1007/978-94-011-7726-9_9, ISBN , retrieved 26 May 2021
  45. ^Parker, Milton E. (1948). "Princely Packets of Golden Health (A History of Butter Packaging)"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 6 October 2006. Retrieved 15 October 2006.
  46. ^ abcd"A Better Stick of Butter?". Cook's Illustrated (77): 3. November–December 2005.
  47. ^"Commercial Butter Making and Packaging Machines". Schier Company, Inc. Archived from the original on 20 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  48. ^ abcdMilton E. Parker (1948). "A History of Butter Packaging"(PDF).
  49. ^ ab"Butter crate | SA/PKC/PRO/1/6/3/1/1/6". Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  50. ^"BUTTER EXPORT-IMPORTANT INVENTION. NEW ZEALAND HERALD". 17 August 1885. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  51. ^"BUTTER BOX PINE". Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954). 13 December 1938. p. 7. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  52. ^Jean-Robert Pitte, French Gastronomy: The History and Geography of a Passion, ISBN 0231124163, p. 94
  53. ^Robert Belleret, Paul Bocuse, l'épopée d'un chef, 2019, ISBN 2809825904
  54. ^Katie Armour, "Top 20 Julia Child Quotes", Matchbook, April 15, 2013
  55. ^From data here [1]Archived 24 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine, one teaspoon of butter contains 0.03 grams of lactose; a cup of milk contains 400 times that amount.
  56. ^Allergy Society of South Africa. Milk Allergy & IntoleranceArchived 26 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 27 November 2005.
  57. ^"Nutrition for Everyone: Basics: Saturated Fat - DNPAO - CDC". Archived from the original on 29 January 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  58. ^Choices, NHS. "How to eat less saturated fat - Live Well - NHS Choices". Archived from the original on 24 April 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  59. ^"Butter, stick, salted, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  60. ^ abcdefghThe Culinary Institute of America (2011). The Professional Chef (9th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN . OCLC 707248142.
  61. ^"Oil, canola, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  62. ^ abc"Nutrient database, Release 25". United States Department of Agriculture.
  63. ^Katragadda, H. R.; Fullana, A. S.; Sidhu, S.; Carbonell-Barrachina, Á. A. (2010). "Emissions of volatile aldehydes from heated cooking oils". Food Chemistry. 120: 59. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.09.070.
  64. ^"Oil, coconut, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  65. ^"Oil, corn, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  66. ^"Lard, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  67. ^"Peanut oil, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  68. ^"Oil, olive, extra virgin, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  69. ^"Rice Bran Oil FAQ's". Archived from the original on 27 September 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  70. ^"Oil, soybean, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  71. ^"Beef, variety meats and by-products, suet, raw, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  72. ^"Nutrition data for Butter oil, anhydrous (ghee) per 100 gram reference amount"". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  73. ^"Sunflower oil, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  74. ^"Shortening, vegetable, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  75. ^Engel, S; Tholstrup, T (August 2015). "Butter increased total and LDL cholesterol compared with olive oil but resulted in higher HDL cholesterol compared with a habitual diet". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 102 (2): 309–15. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.112227. PMID 26135349.
  76. ^Pimpin, Laura; Wu, Jason H. Y.; Haskelberg, Hila; Del Gobbo, Liana; Mozaffarian, Dariush (29 June 2016). "Is Butter Back? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Butter Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Total Mortality". PLOS ONE. 11 (6): e0158118. Bibcode:2016PLoSO..1158118P. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158118. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4927102. PMID 27355649.
  77. ^Sifferlin, Alexandra (29 June 2016). "The Case for Eating Butter Just Got Stronger". Time. Retrieved 14 February 2021.

Further reading

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Butter.
Look up butter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Meaning of butter in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbʌtə/

See synonyms for butter on

Translate butter into Spanish


mass noun
  • A pale yellow edible fatty substance made by churning cream and used as a spread or in cooking.

    ‘They are served hot or cold spread with butter or margarine and sometimes jelly jam and cream.’

    • ‘We defined high fat dairy food as whole milk, ice cream, hard cheese, butter, and sour cream.’
    • ‘Dairy products such as butter, cream, and cheese are important parts of the diet, along with pork.’
    • ‘Beat the egg yolk into the batter, followed by the sour cream and melted butter.’
    • ‘They can be eaten as is, or sliced in two and spread with a little butter, clotted cream and/or jam.’
    • ‘Just one tablespoon of butter, sour cream or gravy can double the calories in a potato.’
    • ‘When cream is churned to make butter, the agitation breaks up the water into droplets.’
    • ‘Milk products were common in the form of sour cream and butter from cows and yaks.’
    • ‘Staff were even instructed to cream the butter before spreading to make sure customers got even less for their money.’
    • ‘There are 20 classes for hard and soft cheeses, yoghurt, cream and butter.’
    • ‘Surely it is also dedicated to getting people to buy as much milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream as possible?’
    • ‘When using butter, it is best to cream the sugar and butter for some time before combining with the flour.’
    • ‘The cream, fresh butter and jam came in three separate dishes.’
    • ‘The server returned to replace my tuna fork, but not either of the pointy knives which earlier we had been struggling to spread butter with.’
    • ‘I took no sugar, no butter and no other cooking fat of any sort because to get these rare commodities I would have had to ask Stewart to give me some.’
    • ‘Watch out for butter and cream hidden in many casseroles and other dishes, bakery goods and desserts.’
    • ‘I used to help my father from the age of 10, delivering butter and fresh cream on my bicycle.’
    • ‘Cream butter and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.’
    • ‘Serve over mashed potatoes that have been whipped with lots of butter and milk or cream.’
    • ‘Cutting out the obvious milk, butter, cream, yoghurt, and cheese is not enough.’

    fat, oil, cooking oil, animal fat


[with object]
  • Spread (something) with butter.

    ‘Lily buttered a slice of toast’

    • ‘Apryl half-heartedly smiled back as she picked up a slice of toast and buttered it.’
    • ‘Janice had made her two slices of toast and buttered them, and set them on the counter by the door, wrapped in a paper towel.’
    • ‘She said: ‘I was buttering a piece of bread and I just dropped what I was doing.’’
    • ‘When buttering bread use low fat polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarine.’
    • ‘Place a slice of lightly buttered granary toast on each plate and spoon the scrambled egg on top.’
    • ‘The toaster dinged and I pulled out the bread, buttering it in my hand.’
    • ‘When the toast popped up she buttered it and placed each slice onto a saucer.’
    • ‘I buttered a piece of bread and made my way outside to begin weeding, still chewing on my bread.’
    • ‘He reached for some bread and buttered it, but when no one else spoke, he glanced up.’
    • ‘Who can resist freshly spread hot buns and or a lightly buttered French stick?’
    • ‘‘So,’ I asked, buttering a piece of toast, ‘What's on the schedule for today?’’
    • ‘I sigh at his audacity, buttering a piece of toast.’
    • ‘I peeked into the kitchen and saw Tracy buttering a piece of toast.’
    • ‘She was just sitting there, buttering another piece of toast with a knife and jam.’
    • ‘As for Mr Sarma, buttering the right side of the bread is an old trick he has mastered from his student days.’
    • ‘Another cut her fruit into bite-size pieces, and a third sliced and buttered her bread.’
    • ‘The freshly buttered warm garlic toast made a tasty companion to the vegetable soup, and the pasta dishes were spot on.’
    • ‘Haig buttered his toast, then spread one slice with orange marmalade and the other with lime marmalade.’
    • ‘Then when the toast was browned, I buttered it, and spooned the mushrooms on top.’
    • ‘The fish arrived at our table piping hot with just the right sized portion of freshly-cooked chips, plus buttered bread.’

    cover, coat, layer, daub, smother


    look as if butter wouldn't melt in one's mouth
    • Appear gentle or innocent while typically being the opposite.

      • ‘At home, he's placid and gentle and happy and looks as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.’
      • ‘Because, while he may often look as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, underneath the boyish appearance and the trappings of trendiness, there is a genuinely steely determination that has to be admired.’
      • ‘For all they look as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, they're an un-Christian lot.’
      • ‘He looks as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, but he angled against Kennedy and now he's doing it against Campbell.’
      • ‘All sweet and coy on the surface as if butter wouldn't melt, but look a little deeper my friends; Ms. Sorisso is a minx.’

Phrasal Verbs

    butter up
    • butter someone up, butter up someoneFlatter or praise someone as a means of gaining their help or support.

      • ‘don't try and butter me up in order to get privileged information’
      • ‘‘Magic Valley's industrial dairies try to butter us up with sweet talk and promises,’ the ad begins, ‘but the reality is as different as milk and molasses.’’
      • ‘His strategy now is to frustrate Dookeran, muzzle Yetming and see if Jack can be buttered up.’
      • ‘‘See, he phones people just to say hello, but he's only buttering you up so he can ask you favours later,’ he continued.’
      • ‘And if so, buttering them up in preparation for what?’
      • ‘Many reporters immortalized in the Kissinger transcripts talked to the secretary without buttering him up.’
      • ‘After buttering him up with a cold beer and the biggest cheeseburger in the world, he supplied me with the necessary contacts.’
      • ‘Well, since you buttered me up so nicely: Okay..’
      • ‘She buttered me up with some praise (which always works with me).’
      • ‘Anyway she could not have been nicer and Cowan buttered her up about all her films.’
      • ‘McClaren is a PR man, adept at buttering people up in the boardroom but unproven in the dressing room, where it matters most.’


Old English butere, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch boter and German Butter, based on Latin butyrum, from Greek bouturon.


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