- a small disk, knob, or the like for sewing or otherwise attaching to an article, as of clothing, serving as a fastening when passed through a buttonhole or loop.
- anything resembling a button, especially in being small and round, as any of various candies, ornaments, tags, identification badges, reflectors, markers, etc.
- a badge or emblem bearing a name, slogan, identifying figure, etc., for wear on the lapel, dress, etc.: campaign buttons.
- any small knob or disk pressed to activate an electric circuit, release a spring, or otherwise operate or open a machine, small door, toy, etc.
- Botany. a bud or other protuberant part of a plant.
- a young or undeveloped mushroom.
- any protuberant part of a fungus.
- Zoology. any of various small parts or structures resembling a button, as the rattle at the tip of the tail in a very young rattlesnake.
- Boxing Informal. the point of the chin.
- Also called turn button. a fastener for a door, window, etc., having two arms and rotating on a pivot that is attached to the frame.
- Metallurgy. (in assaying) a small globule or lump of metal at the bottom of a crucible after fusion.
- Fencing. the protective, blunting knob fixed to the point of a foil.
- Horology. crown(def 19).
- Computers. (in a graphical user interface) a small, button-shaped or clearly defined area that the user can click on or touch to choose an option.
- to fasten with a button or buttons: She quickly buttoned her coat.
- to insert (a button) in a buttonhole or loop: He buttoned the top button of his shirt.
- to provide (something) with a button or buttons.
- to be capable of being buttoned: This coat buttons, but that one zips.
- button up, Informal.
- Also button one's lip.to become or keep silent.
- to fasten securely; close up: Within a short time, everything on the submarine was buttoned up.
- to fasten fully or put on, especially an outer garment: Button up before going out.
- to complete successfully; finish: The report is all buttoned up.
- have all one's buttons, Informal. to be mentally competent, alert, and sane; have all one's wits: At 106 she still has all her buttons.
- on the button, Informal. exactly as desired, expected, specified, etc.: The prediction for snow was right on the button.
Origin of button
- Richard Tot·ten [tot-n] /ˈtɒt n/, Dick, born 1929, U.S. figure skater.
Related Words for buttonknob, switch, dial, fastening, catch, frog, clasp, stud, tuner, toggle, adjuster
Examples from the Web for button
Contemporary Examples of button
There is a disconnect, which allows for some distance between his actions and your button presses.I Felt Like Showering After the First-Person Sex in ‘Grand Theft Auto’
November 22, 2014
Among them were some horrifying images of severe damage to nasal tissue caused by a child lodging a button battery in her nose.Kids Eat the Darndest Things: Laundry Pods, Teething Necklaces, and More Of The Weirdest Stuff Sending Kids to the E.R.
November 14, 2014
They push the “war on women” button, and a couple of others, like Social Security, which I discussed yesterday.How Can Dems Be Losing to These Idiots?
October 29, 2014
You throw the last piece into the elevator itself and hit the button marked LOBBY.The Stacks: Pete Dexter on What It’s Like to Lose the Knack of Having Fun
September 20, 2014
Instead of pushing the cup against a mechanical lever, users push a “button” on a touchscreen.Font of Invention
September 18, 2014
Historical Examples of button
At night when the room grows dark we push a button and there is light.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
His expression grew morose, as again he pressed the button on his desk.
He pressed the button on his desk, and, as the doorman appeared, addressed that functionary.
He will prolong your life and loosen every button on your waistcoat.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
To indicate the effect, he included a galvanometer in the circuit of the battery and the button.Heroes of the Telegraph
- a disc or knob of plastic, wood, etc, attached to a garment, etc, usually for fastening two surfaces together by passing it through a buttonhole or loop
- a small round object, such as any of various sweets, decorations, or badges
- a small disc that completes an electric circuit when pushed, as one that operates a doorbell or machine
- a symbolic representation of a button on the screen of a computer that is notionally depressed by manipulating the mouse to initiate an action
- biology any rounded knoblike part or organ, such as an unripe mushroom
- fencing the protective knob fixed to the point of a foil
- a small amount of metal, usually lead, with which gold or silver is fused, thus concentrating it during assaying
- the piece of a weld that pulls out during the destructive testing of spot welds
- rowing a projection around the loom of an oar that prevents it slipping through the rowlock
- British an object of no value (esp in the phrase not worth a button)
- slang intellect; mental capacity (in such phrases as a button short, to have all one's buttons, etc)
- on the button informal exactly; precisely
- to fasten with a button or buttons
- (tr) to provide with buttons
- (tr) fencing to hit (an opponent) with the button of one's foil
- button one's lip, button up one's lip, button one's mouth or button up one's mouth to stop talking: often imperative
Word Origin for button
c.1300 (surname Botouner "button-maker" attested from mid-13c.), from Old French boton "a button," originally "a bud" (12c., Modern French bouton), from bouter, boter "to thrust," common Romanic (cf. Spanish boton, Italian bottone), ultimately from Germanic (see butt (v.)). Thus a button is, etymologically, something that pushes up, or thrusts out.
Meaning "point of the chin" is pugilistic slang, by 1921. A button as something you push to create an effect by closing an (electrical) circuit is attested from 1840s. Button-pusher as "deliberately annoying or provocative person" is attested by 1990 (in reference to Bill Gates, in "InfoWorld" magazine, Nov. 19). In the 1980s it meant "photographer."
late 14c., "to furnish with buttons;" early 15c., "to fasten with buttons" (of a garment,) from button (n.) or from Old French botoner (Modern French boutonner), from boton (n.). Related: Buttoned; buttoning. Button-down (adj.) in reference to shirt collars is from 1916.
- A knoblike structure, device, or lesion.
In addition to the idioms beginning with button
- button one's lip
- button up
- cute as a button
- have all one's buttons
- on the button
- push (press) someone's buttons
- push the panic button