Accost or detain a person in conversation. For example, The reporter tried to buttonhole the senator, but she got away. This term is a metaphor for literally grasping someone by a buttonhole on his or her clothing. [ Mid-1800s ]


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  • Buttonhole-stitch

    a looped stitch used to strengthen the edge of material and keep it from raveling, as around a buttonhole. Historical Examples Art in Needlework Lewis F. Day A Treatise on Domestic Economy Catherine Esther Beecher Art in Needlework Lewis F. Day Art in Needlework Lewis F. Day Art in Needlework Lewis F. Day Art in […]

  • Buttonholing

    the hole, slit, or loop through which a button is passed and by which it is secured. Chiefly British. a boutonniere. Surgery. a short, straight incision through the wall of a cavity or a canal. to sew with a buttonhole stitch. to make buttonholes in. to hold by the buttonhole or otherwise abruptly detain (someone) […]

  • Buttonless

    having no button or buttons. Contemporary Examples 5 Things We Know About the New iPhone 5 (Maybe) Nina Strochlic August 27, 2012 Historical Examples K Mary Roberts Rinehart The Swamp Doctor’s Adventures in The South-West John Robb Yonder Emily Hilda Young From North Carolina to Southern California Without a Ticket and How I Did It […]

  • Buttonmould

    noun the small core of plastic, wood, or metal that is the base for buttons covered with fabric, leather, etc

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