butterfly Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun diurnal insect typically having a slender body with knobbed antennae and broad colorful wings
  2. noun a swimming stroke in which the arms are thrown forward together out of the water while the feet kick up and down
    butterfly stroke.
  3. verb flutter like a butterfly
  4. verb cut and spread open, as in preparation for cooking
    • butterflied shrimp
  5. verb talk or behave amorously, without serious intentions
    coquet; coquette; mash; flirt; romance; philander; dally; chat up.
    • The guys always try to chat up the new secretaries
    • My husband never flirts with other women


But"ter*fly` noun
Perh. from the color of a yellow species. AS. buter-flege, buttor-fleóge; cf. G. butterfliege, D. botervlieg. See Butter, and Fly.
plural Butterflies
  1. (Zoöl.) A general name for the numerous species of diurnal Lepidoptera. See Illust. under Aphrodite.

Webster 1913