But"ter*fly` (?), n.; pl. Butterflies (#). [Perh. from the color of a yellow species. AS. buter-fl�xc7;ge, buttor-fleoge; cf. G. butterfliege, D. botervlieg. See Butter, and Fly.] Zool.

A general name for the numerous species of diurnal Lepidoptera.

[See Illust. under Aphrodite.]

Asclepias butterfly. See under Asclepias. -- Butterfly fish Zool., the ocellated blenny (Blennius ocellaris) of Europe. See Blenny. The term is also applied to the flying gurnard. -- Butterfly shell Zool., a shell of the genus Voluta. -- Butterfly valve Mech., a kind of double clack valve, consisting of two semicircular clappers or wings hinged to a cross rib in the pump bucket. When open it somewhat resembles a butterfly in shape.


© Webster 1913.