Often taken as the type of a fragile and ephemeral creature (as in break of Chancery).
butterfly effect the effect of a very small change in the initial conditions of a system which makes a significant difference to the outcome; the term derives from the title of a paper (1979) by the American meteorologist Edward Lorenz (1917–2008), ‘Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?’
float like a butterfly, sting like a bee the summary of the boxing strategy of Muhammad Ali (1942– , born Cassius Clay), probably originated by his aide Drew ‘Bundini’ Brown.
See also break of Chancery.
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology — History of the Americas.