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[buht-n-doun] /ˈbʌt nˌdaʊn/
(of a shirt collar) having buttonholes so it can be buttoned to the body of the shirt.
(of a shirt) having a button-down collar.
(of a shirt) having buttons down the front from the collar to the bottom.
Also, buttoned-down. (especially of attitudes, opinions, etc.) extremely conventional; unimaginative.
Origin of button-down
An Americanism dating back to 1930-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for button down
Historical Examples
  • All I took from Adelaide were a small set of scales capable of determining the weight of a button down to 20 ozs.

    Getting Gold J. C. F. Johnson
  • She had tried long series of shorts, and, once, she had held the button down for a solid three minutes.

    The Night-Born Jack London
  • "We'd better stop to button down the rain-curtains, Captain," advised Jim.

    Girl Scouts in the Adirondacks Lillian Elizabeth Roy
British Dictionary definitions for button down


(of a collar) having points that are fastened to the garment with buttons
(of a shirt) having a button-down collar
Also buttoned-down. conventional or conservative: a button-down corporate culture
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for button down

button down

verb phrase

  1. To classify; peg, pigeonhole: I buttoned him down from the start as a probable bore
  2. To make precise; discard all but one alternative: First we decide to buy, then we button down the price
  3. To prepare for action; get ready: He was all buttoned down and ready to go

[1950s+; third sense fr a military term for closing all ports and hatches for action]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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