Synonyms for barelyˈbɛər li
English Synonyms and Antonyms, by James Champlin Fernald
But ranges from the faintest contrast to absolute negation; as, I am willing to go, but (on the other hand) content to stay; he is not an honest man, but (on the contrary) a villain. The contrast may be with a silent thought; as, but let us go (it being understood that we might stay longer). In restrictive use, except and excepting are slightly more emphatic than but; we say, no injury but a scratch; or, no injury except some painful bruises. Such expressions as "words are but breath" (nothing but) may be referred to the restrictive use by ellipsis. So may the use of but in the sense of unless; as, "it never rains but it pours." To the same head must be referred the conditional use; as, "you may go, but with your father's consent" (i. e., "provided you have," "except that you must have," etc.). "Doubt but" is now less used than the more logical "doubt that." But never becomes a full synonym for and; and adds something like, but adds something different; "brave and tender" implies that tenderness is natural to the brave; "brave but tender" implies that bravery and tenderness are rarely combined. For the concessive use, compare NOTWITHSTANDING.
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