butterfly: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (but'ur-flī"), [key]
— n., pl. v., adj. -flies, -flied, -fly•ing,
  1. any of numerous diurnal insects of the order Lepidoptera, characterized by clubbed antennae, a slender body, and large, broad, often conspicuously marked wings.
  2. a person who flits aimlessly from one interest or group to another: a social butterfly.
  3. a queasy feeling, as from nervousness, excitement, etc.
  4. a racing breaststroke, using a dolphin kick, in which the swimmer brings both arms out of the water in forward, circular motions.
  5. See
  6. an-shaped support attached to an armature.
  7. one of the swinging brackets of a butterfly table.
  8. a screen of scrim, gauze, or similar material, for diffusing light.
  1. to slit open and spread apart to resemble the spread wings of a butterfly.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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