but for - definition and synonyms

  1. 1
    except for something

    The work was now complete, but for a final coat of paint.

  2. 2
    used for saying that something would have happened if something else or someone had not prevented it

    Lee would certainly have been included in the team, but for his recent injury.

    But for your timely warning, we would have been unaware of the danger.

See also main entry: but