a small disk, knob, or the like for sewing or otherwise attaching to an article, as of clothing, serving as a fastening when passed through a buttonhole or loop.
anything resembling a button, especially in being small and round, as any of various candies, ornaments, tags, identification badges, reflectors, markers, etc.
a badge or emblem bearing a name, slogan, identifying figure, etc., for wear on the lapel, dress, etc.:
campaign buttons.
any small knob or disk pressed to activate an electric circuit, release a spring, or otherwise operate or open a machine, small door, toy, etc.
Botany. a bud or other protuberant part of a plant.

a young or undeveloped mushroom.
any protuberant part of a fungus.

Zoology. any of various small parts or structures resembling a button, as the rattle at the tip of the tail in a very young rattlesnake.
Boxing Informal. the point of the chin.
Also called turn button. a fastener for a door, window, etc., having two arms and rotating on a pivot that is attached to the frame.
Metallurgy. (in assaying) a small globule or lump of metal at the bottom of a crucible after fusion.
Fencing. the protective, blunting knob fixed to the point of a foil.
Horology, crown (def 19).
Computers. (in a graphical user interface) any of the small, labeled areas upon which the user can click with a mouse to choose an option.
to fasten with a button or buttons:
She quickly buttoned her coat.
to insert (a button) in a buttonhole or loop:
He buttoned the top button of his shirt.
to provide (something) with a button or buttons.
to be capable of being buttoned:
This coat buttons, but that one zips.
button up, Informal.

Also, button one’s lip. to become or keep silent.
to fasten securely; close up:
Within a short time, everything on the submarine was buttoned up.
to fasten fully or put on, especially an outer garment:
Button up before going out.
to complete successfully; finish:
The report is all buttoned up.

have all one’s buttons, Informal. to be mentally competent, alert, and sane; have all one’s wits:
At 106 she still has all her buttons.
on the button, Informal. exactly as desired, expected, specified, etc.:
The prediction for snow was right on the button.
Richard Totten
[tot-n] /ˈtɒt n/ (Show IPA), (“Dick”) born 1929, U.S. figure skater.
Contemporary Examples

‘Shark Tank’: Robert Herjavec talks Money, Mark Cuban & Racing Cars Anna Klassen October 3, 2013
Eight Biggest Elmo Scandals: Kevin Clash, Katy Perry & More (VIDEO) Kevin Fallon November 13, 2012
New Bank ATMs Feature Human Presence CNBC August 4, 2013
How Questlove Is Bringing Music Back to Television Kevin Fallon July 22, 2014
How Wall Street Computers Almost Killed Knight Trading Alex Klein, Matthew Zeitlin August 6, 2012

Historical Examples

Restricted Tool Malcolm B. Morehart
Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
Heroes of the Telegraph J. Munro
The Go Ahead Boys in the Island Camp Ross Kay

a disc or knob of plastic, wood, etc, attached to a garment, etc, usually for fastening two surfaces together by passing it through a buttonhole or loop
a small round object, such as any of various sweets, decorations, or badges
a small disc that completes an electric circuit when pushed, as one that operates a doorbell or machine
a symbolic representation of a button on the screen of a computer that is notionally depressed by manipulating the mouse to initiate an action
(biology) any rounded knoblike part or organ, such as an unripe mushroom
(fencing) the protective knob fixed to the point of a foil
a small amount of metal, usually lead, with which gold or silver is fused, thus concentrating it during assaying
the piece of a weld that pulls out during the destructive testing of spot welds
(rowing) a projection around the loom of an oar that prevents it slipping through the rowlock
(Brit) an object of no value (esp in the phrase not worth a button)
(slang) intellect; mental capacity (in such phrases as a button short, to have all one’s buttons, etc)
(informal) on the button, exactly; precisely
to fasten with a button or buttons
(transitive) to provide with buttons
(transitive) (fencing) to hit (an opponent) with the button of one’s foil
button one’s lip, button up one’s lip, button one’s mouth, button up one’s mouth, to stop talking: often imperative

The chin; point of the chin: I got clipped square on the button (1920+)
The clitoris; clit (1870s+)
A small quantity of a narcotic: There exists some traffic, however, in ”buttons,” or small amounts (1960s+ Narcotics)
The rounded top of the peyote plant (1960s+ Narcotics)
A police officer’s badge; potsy, tin (1920s+)
(also buttons) A police officer •Blue and buttons was used of the police (1900+)

1. push-button.
2. A graphical representation of an electrical push-button appearing as part of a graphical user interface. Moving the mouse pointer over the graphical button and pressing one of the physical mouse buttons starts some software action such as closing a window or deleting a file.
See also radio button.

button one’s lip
button up


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