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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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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