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 ?
My sister had a trenchant way of cutting our bread-and-butter for us, that never varied.
They placed themselves close to where Hatta, the other messenger, was standing watching the fight, with a cup of tea in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the other.
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 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.