What does 'butted up' mean here:

At the tone of Mrs Whatsit’s voice, both warning and frightening, Meg shivered again. And Charles Wallace butted up against Mrs Whatsit in the way he often did with his mother, whispering, ‘Now I think I know what you meant about being afraid.’

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle


The phrase, 'butted up against' means that Charles got very close to Mrs. Whatsit.

I'm not an etymologist, but my guess is it comes from the meaning of 'butt' as a thrust against something. We use this word to describe what animals like goats and antelope do when the males are challenging one another for superiority. They put their heads together and push against one another.

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