What does butterfly mean?

Definitions for butterfly
ˈbʌt ərˌflaɪbut·ter·f·ly

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word butterfly.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. butterflynoun

    diurnal insect typically having a slender body with knobbed antennae and broad colorful wings

  2. butterfly, butterfly strokeverb

    a swimming stroke in which the arms are thrown forward together out of the water while the feet kick up and down

  3. butterflyverb

    flutter like a butterfly

  4. butterflyverb

    cut and spread open, as in preparation for cooking

    "butterflied shrimp"

  5. chat up, flirt, dally, butterfly, coquet, coquette, romance, philander, mashverb

    talk or behave amorously, without serious intentions

    "The guys always try to chat up the new secretaries"; "My husband never flirts with other women"


  1. butterflynoun

    A flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, distinguished from moths by their diurnal activity and generally brighter colouring.

  2. butterflynoun

    Someone seen as being unserious and (originally) dressed gaudily; someone flighty and unreliable.

  3. butterflynoun

    The butterfly stroke.

  4. butterflynoun

    A use of surgical tape, cut into thin strips and placed across an open wound to hold it closed.

    butterfly tape

  5. butterflyverb

    To cut almost entirely in half and spread the halves apart, in a shape suggesting the wings of a butterfly.

  6. butterflyverb

    To cut strips of surgical tape or plasters into thin strips, and place across a gaping wound to close it.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Butterflynoun

    A beautiful insect, so named because it first appears at the beginning of the season for butter.

    Etymology: butterflege, Saxon.

    Eftsoons that damsel, by her heav’nly might,
    She turned into a winged butterfly,
    In the wide air to make her wand’ring flight. Edmund Spenser.

    Tell old tales, and laugh
    At gilded butterflies; and hear poor rogues
    Talk of court news. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    And so befel, that as he cast his eye
    Among the colworts on a butterfly,
    He saw false Reynard. John Dryden, Fables.

    That which seems to be a powder upon the wings of a butterfly, is an innumerable company of extreme small feathers, not to be discerned without a microscope. Nehemiah Grew.


  1. Butterfly

    Butterfly is a popular song written by Bernie Lowe and Kal Mann and published in 1957. The song is credited to Anthony September as songwriter in some sources. This was a pseudonym of Anthony Mammarella, producer of American Bandstand. The original recording of the song by Charlie Gracie reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart, No. 10 on the R&B chart and No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart in 1957. A cover version by Andy Williams also reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart in 1957. Williams' version also reached No. 1 the UK in May 1957, where it spent two weeks, and also reached No. 14 on the US R&B chart.


  1. butterfly

    A butterfly is an insect belonging to the order Lepidoptera, known for their large, often brightly colored wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. They have four stages of life; egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult. The adult butterfly has a small body, long antennae, and is typically covered in tiny scales. Butterflies are often associated with flowers as they feed on nectar and play an important role in pollination.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Butterflynoun

    a general name for the numerous species of diurnal Lepidoptera


  1. Butterfly

    A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies, the skippers and the moth-butterflies. All the many other families within the Lepidoptera are referred to as moths. The earliest known butterfly fossils date to the mid Eocene epoch, 40–50 million years ago. Butterflies exhibit polymorphism, mimicry and aposematism. Some, like the Monarch, will migrate over long distances. Some butterflies have evolved symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants. Some species are pests because in their larval stages they can damage domestic crops or trees; however, some species are agents of pollination of some plants, and caterpillars of a few butterflies eat harmful insects. Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts.

Editors Contribution

  1. butterfly

    A type of insect.

    Butterflies are so beautiful to watch as they dance together in pairs.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 15, 2020  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Butterfly is ranked #133048 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Butterfly surname appeared 127 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Butterfly.

    77.1% or 98 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    16.5% or 21 total occurrences were White.
    4.7% or 6 total occurrences were of two or more races.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'butterfly' in Nouns Frequency: #2800

How to pronounce butterfly?

How to say butterfly in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of butterfly in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of butterfly in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of butterfly in a Sentence

  1. Amy Klobuchar:

    The monarch butterfly is the most iconic butterfly in North America, with the butterfly rapidly disappearing, I am pleased to see The Fish and The Fish taking positive steps to reverse The Fish decline.

  2. New York manager Joe Girardi:

    It's like hitting a butterfly, i thought we had better swings tonight than we did the other night. We just weren't able to score any runs.

  3. Le Clos:

    I'll be in the best shape of my life for Rio and gold is on my mind, the butterfly races are on my mind and Michael Phelps’s butterfly world records (100m and 200m) have been on my mind since I won gold in London.

  4. Le Clos:

    I have already told my family there is a realistic possibility I could come back with three silvers in the butterfly, or three bronze or three fourths, but I also believe I can get three golds. The butterfly is such an open game at the moment.

  5. Rene Descartes:

    I know not if I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or if I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for butterfly

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"butterfly." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/butterfly>.

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    the transportation of people (as a family or colony) to a new settlement (as after an upheaval of some kind)
    • A. directory
    • B. relocation
    • C. deterioration
    • D. humility

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