Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

buttonhole

[buht-n-hohl]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the hole, slit, or loop through which a button is passed and by which it is secured.
  2. Chiefly British. a boutonniere.
  3. Surgery. a short, straight incision through the wall of a cavity or a canal.
verb (used with object), but·ton·holed, but·ton·hol·ing.
  1. to sew with a buttonhole stitch.
  2. to make buttonholes in.
  3. to hold by the buttonhole or otherwise abruptly detain (someone) in conversation: The reporter tried to buttonhole the mayor for a statement on the bus strike.

Origin of buttonhole

First recorded in 1555–65; button + hole
Related formsbut·ton·hol·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for buttonhole

Historical Examples

  • He pulled it out of his buttonhole and tossed it into the fire-place.

    The Greater Inclination

    Edith Wharton

  • Arthur had a fine rose in his buttonhole and looked profoundly thoughtful.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • In his mouth was a cigarette, and in his buttonhole a pink carnation.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • Let him go with his flower in his buttonhole and dance somewhere else.

  • He was very dapper in a new tailcoat and a flower in his buttonhole.

    Highacres

    Jane Abbott


British Dictionary definitions for buttonhole

buttonhole

noun
  1. a slit in a garment, etc, through which a button is passed to fasten two surfaces together
  2. a flower or small bunch of flowers worn pinned to the lapel or in the buttonhole, esp at weddings, formal dances, etcUS name: boutonniere
verb (tr)
  1. to detain (a person) in conversation
  2. to make buttonholes in
  3. to sew with buttonhole stitch
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

buttonhole in Medicine

buttonhole

(bŭtn-hōl′)
n.
  1. A short straight surgical cut made through the wall of a cavity or canal.
  2. The contraction of an orifice down to a narrow slit, as in mitral stenosis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.