Butte

/byooht/, n.
a city in SW Montana: mining center. 37,205.

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(French: "hillock" or "rising ground") Flat-topped hill surrounded by a steep cliff, from the bottom of which a slope descends to the plain.

The term is sometimes used for an elevation higher than a hill but not high enough to be a mountain. Buttes topped by horizontal platforms of hard rock are characteristic of the arid plateau region of the western U.S. A butte is similar to a mesa but generally smaller; both are created by erosional processes.

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officially  Butte-Silver Bow 

      city, seat (1881) of Silver Bow county, southwestern Montana, U.S., on the western slope of the Continental Divide.

      Butte was laid out in 1886 and was named for Big Butte, a nearby conical peak locally called “the richest hill on earth.” The rich mineral deposits of the area attracted settlers; placer gold was discovered in 1864, and silver was first successfully treated there in 1875. Economic expansion was slow until the arrival of the railroads in the 1880s. copper production, developed by the Anaconda Company, began there in 1882 and by 1900 was yielding half the nation's output; zinc, lead, and manganese are also found in quantity. The city endured the worst mining disaster in American history in 1917, when an underground fire killed 168 workers. The decline in mining and the increased use of machinery after 1940 brought an economic labour slump, resulting in a 20-year economic plan (the Greater Butte Project) and the inauguration of open-pit mining in the area. The practice was stopped in 1982, and light industry and livestock sales have supplanted mining as the city's economic mainstays.

      The city of Butte and Silver Bow county merged in 1977, officially creating the city of Butte-Silver Bow. Its schools include Montana Tech, a branch of the University of Montana (1893). In addition to the sources of revenue mentioned above, tourism is important. It is based on displays of mining and smelting operations, nearby Columbia Gardens, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park (Lewis and Clark Caverns), Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (headquartered in Dillon), and the Beef Trail Ski Area. Inc. 1879. Pop. (1990) 33,941; (2000) 33,892.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • butte — butte …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • butte — [ byt ] n. f. • XIVe; forme fém. de but 1 ♦ Tertre naturel ou artificiel où l on adosse la cible. Butte de tir. Loc. fig. ÊTRE EN BUTTE À : être exposé à (comme si on servait de cible). « Je fus en butte à des vexations sans nombre » (France). 2… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Butte — Butte, AK U.S. Census Designated Place in Alaska Population (2000): 2561 Housing Units (2000): 964 Land area (2000): 40.280571 sq. miles (104.326196 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.744610 sq. miles (1.928531 sq. km) Total area (2000): 41.025181 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • butte — Butte. s. f. Petit tertre, motte de terre relevée par nature ou par artifice. Au haut de la butte. Butte, Est aussi un exercice où on tire à une butte, à un noir, avec des arquebuses. Poudre de butte. les Chevaliers de la butte. Les arquebuses… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

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  • Bütte — Bütte, (oberd.:) Butte »offenes Daubengefäß, Wanne«: Mhd. büt‹t›e, büten, ahd. butin‹na› ist entlehnt aus mlat. butina »Flasche, Gefäß«, das auf gleichbed. griech. bytínē (pytínē) zurückgeht. Im Mnd. entspricht bö̅de‹ne›, bödde, büdde (dazu… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Butte, AK — U.S. Census Designated Place in Alaska Population (2000): 2561 Housing Units (2000): 964 Land area (2000): 40.280571 sq. miles (104.326196 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.744610 sq. miles (1.928531 sq. km) Total area (2000): 41.025181 sq. miles (106 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Butte, ND — U.S. city in North Dakota Population (2000): 92 Housing Units (2000): 82 Land area (2000): 0.250901 sq. miles (0.649831 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.250901 sq. miles (0.649831 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Butte, NE — U.S. village in Nebraska Population (2000): 366 Housing Units (2000): 199 Land area (2000): 0.421875 sq. miles (1.092652 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.421875 sq. miles (1.092652 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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