Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


a. Influenced by or undertaken out of necessity: a bread-and-butter job.
b. Reliable, especially for producing income; basic: Household appliances are the company's bread-and-butter goods.
2. Expressive of gratitude for hospitality: a bread-and-butter note.

bread′ and but′ter

a basic means of support or income; source of livelihood; sustenance.


(ˈbrɛd nˈbʌt ər)

1. providing a livelihood or reliable income: the agency's bread-and-butter accounts.
2. of or pertaining to the basic needs of life.
3. basic or everyday; staple; routine.
4. expressing thanks for hospitality: a bread-and-butter letter.


A. ADJ (fig) [issues, needs] → básico, primario; [product] → de más venta; [customer] → más asiduo
B. CPD bread-and-butter letter Ncarta f de agradecimiento (a una señora en cuya casa el invitado ha pasado varios días)
bread-and-butter pudding Npudín m de pan y mantequilla
References in classic literature ?
You've got a religious mother, you have, my boy: going and flopping herself down, and praying that the bread-and-butter may be snatched out of the mouth of her only child.
My sister had a trenchant way of cutting our bread-and-butter for us, that never varied.
Therefore I resolved to put my hunk of bread-and-butter down the leg of my trousers.
Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and then turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question.
I didn't ask you as a beggar," he said, jest- ingly, taking a piece of bread-and-butter from the plate she held before him.
the depth and strength of this elderly party's emotion for some bread-and-butter school-girl
I tried to conceal my embarrassment by handing round cups of tea and rather ill-cut bread-and-butter.
The milk stage, the bread-and-butter stage, and the roast-beef stage.
He discovered a bread-and-butter field in the agricultural weeklies and trade journals, though among the religious weeklies he found he could easily starve.
The White Queen only looked at her in a helpless frightened sort of way, and kept repeating something in a whisper to herself that sounded like 'bread-and-butter, bread-and-butter,' and Alice felt that if there was to be any conversation at all, she must manage it herself.
However, there was no help for it, and the tea-tray came, with seven cups and saucers, and bread-and-butter on the same scale.
Thank you,' said Maggie, looking at the food without taking it; "but will you give me some bread-and-butter and tea instead?