1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Butte (rock feature)

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BUTTE (O. Fr. butte, a hillock or rising ground), a word used in the western states of North America for a flat-topped hill surrounded by a steep escarpment from which a slope descends to the plain. It is sometimes used for "an elevation higher than a hill but not high enough for a mountain." The butte capped by a horizontal platform of hard rock is characteristic of the arid plateau region of the west of North America.