butt (n.1)

"thick end," c. 1400, butte, which probably is related to Middle Dutch and Dutch bot, Low German butt "blunt, dull," Old Norse bauta, from Proto-Germanic *buttan, from PIE root *bhau- "to strike." Or related somehow to Old English buttuc "end, small piece of land," and Old Norse butr "short," from Proto-Germanic *butaz, which is from the same PIE root. Also probably mixed with Old French bot "extremity, end," which also is from Germanic (compare butt (n.3)). Meaning "remainder of a smoked cigarette" first recorded 1847.

butt (n.2)

"liquor barrel, cask for wine or ale," late 14c., from Anglo-French but and Old French bot "barrel, wine-skin" (14c., Modern French botte), from Late Latin buttis "cask" (see bottle (n.)). Cognate with Spanish and Portuguese bota, Italian botte. Usually a cask holding 108 to 140 gallons, or roughly two hogsheads; at one time a butt was a legal measure, but it varied greatly and the subject is a complicated one (see notes in Century Dictionary).

butt (n.3)

"target of a joke, object of ridicule," 1610s, from earlier sense "target for shooting practice, turf-covered mound against which an archery target was set," (mid-14c.), from Old French but "aim, goal, end, target" of an arrow, etc. (13c.), which seems to be a fusion of Old French words for "end" (bot) and "aim, goal" (but), both ultimately from Germanic. The latter is from Frankish *but "stump, stock, block," or some other Germanic source (compare Old Norse butr "log of wood"), which would connect it with butt (n.1).

butt (v.)

"hit with the head, strike by thrusting" (as with the end of a beam or thick stick), c. 1200, from Anglo-French buter, Old French boter "to push, shove, knock; to thrust against," from Frankish or another Germanic source (compare Old Norse bauta, Low German boten "to strike, beat"), from Proto-Germanic *butan, from PIE root *bhau- "to strike."

Meaning "to join at the end, be contiguous" is from 1660s, partly a shortening of abut. To butt in "rudely intrude" is American English slang, attested from 1900. Related: Butted; butting.

butt (n.4)

"flat fish," c. 1300, a general Germanic name applied to various kinds of flat fishes (Old Swedish but "flatfish," German Butte, Dutch bot), from Proto-Germanic *butt-, name for a flat fish, from PIE root *bhau- "to strike." "Hence butt-woman, who sells these, a fish-wife." [OED]

butt (n.5)

"a push or thrust with the head," 1640s, from butt (v.).

butt (n.6)

"posterior, buttocks, rump," from mid-15c. in cookery, in reference to animal parts, probably from or related to butt (n.1) "thick end," or short for buttock. In modern use chiefly of humans, probably an independent derivation, attested by c. 1860 in U.S. slang.

updated on July 27, 2022

Definitions of butt from WordNet
butt (n.)
thick end of the handle;
Synonyms: butt end
butt (n.)
the part of a plant from which the roots spring or the part of a stalk or trunk nearest the roots;
butt (n.)
a victim of ridicule or pranks;
Synonyms: goat / laughingstock / stooge
butt (n.)
the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on;
he deserves a good kick in the butt
Synonyms: buttocks / nates / arse / backside / bum / buns / can / fundament / hindquarters / hind end / keister / posterior / prat / rear / rear end / rump / stern / seat / tail / tail end / tooshie / tush / bottom / behind / derriere / fanny / ass
butt (n.)
sports equipment consisting of an object set up for a marksman or archer to aim at;
Synonyms: target
butt (n.)
finely ground tobacco wrapped in paper; for smoking;
Synonyms: cigarette / cigaret / coffin nail / fag
butt (n.)
a joint made by fastening ends together without overlapping;
Synonyms: butt joint
butt (n.)
a large cask (especially one holding a volume equivalent to 2 hogsheads or 126 gallons);
butt (n.)
the small unused part of something (especially the end of a cigarette that is left after smoking);
Synonyms: stub
butt (v.)
lie adjacent to another or share a boundary;
Synonyms: border / adjoin / edge / abut / march / butt against / butt on
butt (v.)
to strike, thrust or shove against;
He butted his sister out of the way
The goat butted the hiker with his horns
Synonyms: bunt
butt (v.)
place end to end without overlapping;
The frames must be butted at the joints
From, not affiliated with etymonline.