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1 definition found
 for But and if
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  But \But\ (b[u^]t), prep., adv. & conj. [OE. bute, buten, AS.
     b[=u]tan, without, on the outside, except, besides; pref. be-
     + [=u]tan outward, without, fr. [=u]t out. Primarily,
     b[=u]tan, as well as [=u]t, is an adverb. [root]198. See
     By, Out; cf. About.]
     1. Except with; unless with; without. [Obs.]
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              So insolent that he could not go but either spurning
              equals or trampling on his inferiors. --Fuller.
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              Touch not the cat but a glove.        --Motto of the
                                                    Mackintoshes.
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     2. Except; besides; save.
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              Who can it be, ye gods! but perjured Lycon? --E.
                                                    Smith.
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     Note: In this sense, but is often used with other particles;
           as, but for, without, had it not been for. "Uncreated
           but for love divine." --Young.
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     3. Excepting or excluding the fact that; save that; were it
        not that; unless; -- elliptical, for but that.
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              And but my noble Moor is true of mind . . . it were
              enough to put him to ill thinking.    --Shak.
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     4. Otherwise than that; that not; -- commonly, after a
        negative, with that.
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              It cannot be but nature hath some director, of
              infinite power, to guide her in all her ways.
                                                    --Hooker.
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              There is no question but the king of Spain will
              reform most of the abuses.            --Addison.
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     5. Only; solely; merely.
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              Observe but how their own principles combat one
              another.                              --Milton.
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              If they kill us, we shall but die.    --2 Kings vii.
                                                    4.
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              A formidable man but to his friends.  --Dryden.
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     6. On the contrary; on the other hand; only; yet; still;
        however; nevertheless; more; further; -- as connective of
        sentences or clauses of a sentence, in a sense more or
        less exceptive or adversative; as, the House of
        Representatives passed the bill, but the Senate dissented;
        our wants are many, but quite of another kind.
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              Now abideth faith hope, charity, these three; but
              the greatest of these is charity.     --1 Cor. xiii.
                                                    13.
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              When pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the
              lowly is wisdom.                      --Prov. xi. 2.
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     All but. See under All.
  
     But and if, but if; an attempt on the part of King James's
        translators of the Bible to express the conjunctive and
        adversative force of the Greek ?.
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              But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord
              delayeth his coming; . . . the lord of that servant
              will come in a day when he looketh not for him.
                                                    --Luke xii.
                                                    45, 46.
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     But if, unless. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
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              But this I read, that but if remedy
              Thou her afford, full shortly I her dead shall see.
                                                    --Spenser.
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     Syn: But, However, Still.
  
     Usage: These conjunctions mark opposition in passing from one
            thought or topic to another. But marks the opposition
            with a medium degree of strength; as, this is not
            winter, but it is almost as cold; he requested my
            assistance, but I shall not aid him at present.
            However is weaker, and throws the opposition (as it
            were) into the background; as, this is not winter; it
            is, however, almost as cold; he required my
            assistance; at present, however, I shall not afford
            him aid. The plan, however, is still under
            consideration, and may yet be adopted. Still is
            stronger than but, and marks the opposition more
            emphatically; as, your arguments are weighty; still
            they do not convince me. See Except, However.
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     Note: "The chief error with but is to use it where and is
           enough; an error springing from the tendency to use
           strong words without sufficient occasion." --Bain.
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