Meaning of “but” in this context

I read this sentence in The Life of Samuel Johnson:

“The booksellers who contracted with Johnson, single and unaided, for the execution of a work, which in other countries has not been effected but by the co-operating exertions of many, were Mr. Robert Dodsley, Mr. Charles Hitch, Mr. Andrew Millar, the two Messieurs Longman, and the two Messieurs Knapton.”

I am not certain about the meaning of “but” in this context. “But” means “only” OR “however”. I can skip it and still understand the whole sentence. However, I want to know exactly about it because I am learning the English language.


It means, here, “except”. “Effected” means “made to happen” here. The “not . . . but” in combination mean “only.”

Source : Link , Question Author : nhandoanh08 , Answer Author : Xanne

Leave a Comment