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2017 Word of the Year

unbutton

[uhn-buht-n] /ʌnˈbʌt n/
verb (used with object)
1.
to free (buttons) from buttonholes; unfasten or undo.
2.
to unfasten by or as if by unbuttoning:
to unbutton a jacket.
3.
to disclose (one's feelings, thoughts, etc.) after deliberate or prolonged silence.
verb (used without object)
4.
to unfasten a button or one's buttons.
Origin of unbutton
1275-1325
First recorded in 1275-1325, unbutton is from the Middle English word unbotenen. See un-2, button
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unbutton
Historical Examples
  • Why so anxious about the sit of cloaks; and gloves—whether to button or unbutton?

    Monday or Tuesday Virginia Woolf
  • She saw Richard Crawford unbutton his vest, a little assisted by the Colonel.

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
  • If gossip, then, be a gallows 39matter, let Bell unbutton him for the end.

    Journeys to Bagdad

    Charles S. Brooks
  • His only reaction to this was to step forward and continue to unbutton her blouse.

    Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman
  • Her mother had to unbutton the hard top button but she did all the rest.

    Here and Now Story Book Lucy Sprague Mitchell
  • They did so, and the chambermaids went to the room and began to unbutton the dress.

    Italian Popular Tales

    Thomas Frederick Crane
  • If you'll kindly let me unbutton my coat, I'll show you my star; I'm the city marshal.

    The Eagle's Heart Hamlin Garland
  • Then he commenced to gasp, to suffocate, and he had to unbutton his collar and his belt.

  • Nigel sprang from his horse with a cry of joy, and began to unbutton his doublet.

    Sir Nigel Arthur Conan Doyle
  • "Excuse me, but I awoke just as you were about to unbutton your blouse," he said.

    The Devil Joseph O'Brien
British Dictionary definitions for unbutton

unbutton

/ʌnˈbʌtən/
verb
1.
to undo by unfastening (the buttons) of (a garment)
2.
(informal) to release or relax (oneself, tension, etc)
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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Word Origin and History for unbutton
v.

early 14c., from un- (2) "opposite of" + button (v.). Related: Unbuttoned; unbuttoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for unbutton

10
15
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