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butterfly

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English

A butterfly

Etymology

Old English buttorfleoge, corresponding to butter + fly, perhaps with reference to the colour of certain species including the brimstone butterfly, Gonepteryx rhamni. Compare German Schmetterling.

Pronunciation

  • (US) IPA: /ˈbʌtɝflaɪ/, (UK) IPA: /ˈbʌtəflaɪ/

 Audio (CA)help, file

Noun

Singular
butterfly

Plural
butterflies

butterfly (butterflies)
  1. (insect) A flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, distinguished from moths by their diurnal activity and generally brighter colouring.
  2. A swimming stroke in which the body is prone, the arms are moved in simultaneous circles, and the feet are kicked up and down.
  3. A use of surgical tape, cut into thin strips and placed across an open wound to hold it closed.
    butterfly tape

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

Infinitive
to butterfly

Third person singular
butterfl

Simple past
ed

Past participle
-

Present participle
i

to butterfly (third-person singular simple present butterfl, present participle i, simple past and past participle ed)
  1. To cut almost entirely in half and spread the halves apart, in a shape suggesting the wings of a butterfly.
    butterflied shrimp
  2. To cut strips of surgical tape or plasters into thin strips, and place across a gaping wound to close it.

See also

Elsewhere on the web

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