Alternative formsEdit


First attested in the mid 13th century.

  • (of an estate): From Medieval Latin (Anglo-Latin) abuttare, from abuter (to touch at one end, to come to an end, aim, reach),[1][2] from but (end, aim, purpose); akin to Old Norse butr (piece of wood)[1]. Equivalent to a- (to) +‎ butt (boundary mark).[3]
  • (of part of a building): From Middle English abutten,[4] from Old French aboter (to touch at one end, border on)[1]abouter (to join end to end), abuter (to buttress, to put an end to), from a- (towards) + bout (end), boter, bouter (to strike),[5] buter (to strike, finish).[4] Equivalent to a- (towards, change to) +‎ butt (push)[3]



abut (third-person singular simple present abuts, present participle abutting, simple past and past participle abutted)

  1. (intransitive) To touch by means of a mutual border, edge or end; to border on; to lie adjacent; to project; to terminate; to be contiguous; to meet, of an estate, country, etc. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][3]
    It was a time when Germany still abutted upon Russia.
    His land abuts on the road.
  2. (intransitive) To lean against on one end; to end on, of a part of a building or wall. [First attested in the late 16th century.][3]
  3. (transitive) To border upon; be next to; abut on; be adjacent to; to support by an abutment. [First attested in the mid 19th century.][3]

Usage notesEdit

  • (estate or country): Followed by any of the following words: upon, on or (obsolete) to.[1][3]
  • (building): Followed by any of the following words: upon, on, or against.[1][3]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 8
  2. ^ Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 7
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 11
  4. 4.0 4.1 William Morris (editor), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1971 [1969]; American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.; ISBN 0-395-09066-0), page 6
  5. ^ Christine A. Lindberg (editor), The Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition (Spark Publishing, 2007 [2002], ISBN 978-1-4114-0500-4), page 5




abút (frequentative abút-abút)

  1. arrive at a place


ábut (frequentative abút-ábut)

  1. to catch up with or overtake



From Proto-North Sarawak *rabut, from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *rabut.



  1. to pluck




  1. about
Last modified on 6 April 2014, at 02:59