Meaning of butch in English:


Pronunciation /bʊtʃ/

See synonyms for butch

Translate butch into Spanish


  • 1 informal Having an appearance or other qualities of a type traditionally seen as masculine.

    • ‘butch men and feisty women’
    • ‘a butch woman in a baseball cap’
    • ‘there might be some butch firefighters on their way over!’
    • ‘The good news, what there is of it, is that the few remaining teeth that I do have are apparently good teeth, strong teeth, firm, manly, positively butch teeth.’
    • ‘Number one: while I personally quite like butch women, it's not a taste that's shared by every woman in the world - or even most of them.’
    • ‘In the restlessly nurturing mind's eye of my mother, there resides a vastly better lighted and less deliberately butch apartment that is organized to be shared with a member of the opposite sex.’
    • ‘Trying on sunglasses, I'm surprised by how butch my face is.’
    • ‘It's not sore - I just sound very butch and can't sing very well.’
    • ‘And how is the knowledge that all gay men aren't effeminate and all straight men aren't butch going to help you pick between the men exactly?’
    • ‘I was riding along towards home, wondering if the passing car drivers were looking on in awe thinking how butch I looked.’
    • ‘This is tough, concise, and, if I may, butch movie-making, and I love it.’
    • ‘Venison with braised red cabbage sounds like a hefty, butch dish.’
    • ‘Fry also goes through butch biker phases; for a previous interview with me he roared up in red and black leathers.’
    • ‘I always wanted to make proper films, butch films with lots of big trucks and big sweaty sparks and do it properly.’
    • ‘No, no, the Greeks have stuck a load of butch canoeists to paddle up and down on it.’
    • ‘An original touch, however, is the shovel-grip handbrake, which saves space as well as feeling quite butch.’
    • ‘The big lights, butch bulges and metallic paint are designed to be brash, flash and funky.’
    • ‘We have butch guys, and guys who are really into clubbing - the whole spectrum.’
    • ‘It is some sort of former light industrial building that has been transformed with butch know-how.’
    • ‘You boys did all the butch stuff, and I filed my CD collection.’
    • ‘And should your butch man of the hour sign up for rebirthing classes to overcome trauma he suffered in the womb, you'll volunteer to drive him there.’
    • ‘After decades of associating Democrats with failed masculinity, the Republicans are faced with an opponent who knows how to put on a butch display.’
    • ‘Like all Republicans, he had himself photographed in an elaborate costume, leaning on a very butch piece of heavy equipment.’
    manly, masculine, all man, virile, red-blooded, swashbuckling
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    1. 1.1Denoting a lesbian whose appearance and behaviour are seen as traditionally masculine.


  • A lesbian whose appearance and behaviour are seen as traditionally masculine.

    Compare with femme

    ‘Also masculine females and feminine males - including butches and gay males considered to be ‘effeminate.’’
    • ‘My friends are largely femmes who date only butches - so many of us have dated or at least slept with the same ones.’
    • ‘Nearly all of those women who do like butches are lesbians.’
    • ‘You see butches with butches but you never see butches with femmes anymore.’
    • ‘For instance, it's not hard to find personal ads that read, ‘Straight-looking, straight-acting only’ and ‘No butches or fatties.’’
    • ‘It'll be slow for the mainstream to accept drag kings because butches are so feared and vilified.’
    • ‘It does serve as a short primer for folks not clear on the history of lesbian feminism and butch / femme dynamics, however.’
    • ‘As two butches talk about their relationships, one (played by Dee) admits that she laid hands on her girlfriend ‘because I love her so.’’
    • ‘I didn't mind, Josh and Derrick's friends were really sweet, even the butches, and they all pretty much respected the fact I was straight.’
    • ‘I know that you're used to getting your way with butches and with boys just because you're a hot babe.’
    • ‘And butches now find themselves suddenly ‘performing masculinities’ instead of carrying on a fine old regular roguish Dyke tradition like they thought they were doing.’
    • ‘The resurgence of butch / femme identities in the lesbian community brings those differences front and center.’
    • ‘While I was avoiding political discussions, I was formulating political convictions and trying to figure out my own personal views on the butch / femme debate.’
    • ‘I've always had problems with the butch / femme label thing.’
    • ‘Allegedly, women today don't want a sensitive, caring partner, they want a butch, tough, man's man.’
    • ‘Without a bi-sexual butch to cheer on, what will I do with myself?’
    • ‘But I just can't see how any of that has anything to do with being a butch or a femme.’
    • ‘In a most unlikely departure from the ordinary, even the tough butch on a bike will be a tenderfoot when it comes to goodbyes.’
    • ‘Paul's rejection of his sister's butch identity reflects his own internalized homophobia, yet this is complicated by their class differential as well.’


Mid 19th century originally US dialect, short for butch knife, in the sense ‘a butcher's knife’; the current senses date from the mid 20th century.