Definition of butler in English:



  • The chief manservant of a house.

    • ‘In those days, a grand house would employ at least 16 domestic servants, and perhaps an army of 30-cooks, parlour maids, footmen, hall boys, gardeners, butlers, coachmen.’
    • ‘I miss the people in the White House: the butlers, the house men, and the curator, and you know, the usher that runs the place.’
    • ‘After that I fantasized for hours about living in such a house and having several maids and butlers instead of our one.’
    • ‘It's such a large house and the butlers are all cranky old men who are hardly the right kind of companionship for a young woman.’
    • ‘He even had a few maids and butlers who attended us.’
    • ‘These butlers, footmen, valets, drivers, personal assistants, and bodyguards knew where the bodies lay.’
    • ‘White House butlers and such probably do the same.’
    • ‘I am going to live in a rich palace and have butlers; servants and maids help me doing every task.’
    • ‘Every room had maids and servants and butlers all cleaning and decorating his home.’
    • ‘Beth guessed from the man's tone of voice that he was the house butler.’
    • ‘Grown-ups who worked as grooms, butlers, maids or gardeners in the surrounding plantation houses occasionally brought these home with left-over foods wrapped in them.’
    • ‘We moved into a bigger house and hired a few maids and butlers.’
    • ‘Not because you had a huge house with tons of maids and butlers.’
    • ‘Personal staff costs - for two butlers, a valet, four chefs, two chauffeurs, eight housekeepers, eight gardeners and a secretariat - are probably another £1m.’
    • ‘Inside were sparkling chandeliers in every room, carpeted staircases, butlers and servants at your feet and really wonderful food and expensive wine.’
    • ‘You know, probably the most powerful people within a household are valets, dressers and butlers.’
    • ‘In the past five years demand for housekeepers and butlers has risen ten-fold in the UK.’
    • ‘There was a couple from Chicago who went around the world attended by a butler.’
    • ‘The butler is a servant who seems to have turned the tables and become master.’
    • ‘They walked down to the basement level, and found a wing for all of the cooks, servants, maids, and butlers.’
    attendant, retainer


Middle English from Old French bouteillier ‘cup-bearer’, from bouteille ‘bottle’.