bread and butter

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bread and butter

1. noun A vital component of something. Bread and butter, as foodstuffs, are considered basic forms of sustenance. A flourishing stock market is the bread and butter of a successful country.
2. noun A job or task that provides one with a steady income. I'm an artist on the weekends, but being a tutor is my bread and butter.
3. adjective Providing financial stability. The phrase can be hyphenated when used as an adjective. I love any writing assignment where I can be creative, but I always make sure to pick up some bread-and-butter gigs to pay the bills.
4. adjective Typical or common. The phrase can be hyphenated when used as an adjective. My sister worries about everything, even the bread-and-butter tasks of everyday life.
See also: and, bread, butter

someone's bread and butter

Fig. someone's basic income; someone's livelihood—the source of one's food. I can't miss another day of work. That's my bread and butter. I worked as a bartender for a year, and it was the tips that were my bread and butter.
See also: and, bread, butter

your bread and butter

something that provides you with regular income Our customers are our bread and butter, so treat them with respect.
See also: and, bread, butter

somebody's bread and butter

  (informal)
a job or activity that provides you with the money you need to live Teaching at the local college is his bread and butter.
See also: and, bread, butter

bread and butter

1. The essential, sustaining element, as in The quality of the schools is the bread and butter of town property values. This idiom alludes to a basic food, bread spread with butter. [c. 1700]
2. Means of livelihood, as in John's job is the family's bread and butter. [First half of 1700s]
3. Ordinary, routine, as in Don't worry about it; this is just a bread and butter assignment. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: and, bread, butter

bread and butter

n. one’s livelihood. It’s bread and butter to me. I have to do it.
See also: and, bread, butter