Nearby words

  1. lionly,
  2. lions,
  3. lions club,
  4. liouville,
  5. liouville's theorem,
  6. lip gloss,
  7. lip microphone,
  8. lip molding,
  9. lip out,
  10. lip reading


Origin of lip

before 1000; Middle English lip(pe), Old English lippa; cognate with Dutch lip, German Lippe; akin to Norwegian lepe, Latin labium

Related formslip·less, adjectivelip·like, adjectiveout·lip, verb (used with object), out·lipped, out·lip·ping.un·der·lip, noun


[ buht-n ]
/ ˈbʌt n /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to be capable of being buttoned: This coat buttons, but that one zips.

Origin of button

1275–1325; Middle English boto(u)n < Anglo-French: rosehip, button, stud; Middle French boton, equivalent to boter to butt3 + -on noun suffix

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for button up

button up

verb (tr, adverb)

to fasten (a garment) with a button or buttons
informal to conclude (business) satisfactorily
buttoned up slang taciturn; silent and somewhat tense


/ (ˈbʌtən) /



See also buttons, button up

Derived Formsbuttoner, nounbuttonless, adjectivebuttony, adjective

Word Origin for button

C14: from Old French boton, from boter to thrust, butt, of Germanic origin; see butt ³


/ (lɪp) /


verb lips, lipping or lipped

See also lip out

Derived Formslipless, adjectiveliplike, adjective

Word Origin for lip

Old English lippa; related to Old High German leffur, Norwegian lepe, Latin labium

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

Word Origin and History for button up
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for button up


[ lĭp ]


Either of two fleshy folds that surround the opening of the mouth.
A liplike structure bounding or encircling a bodily cavity or groove.


[ bŭtn ]


A knoblike structure, device, or lesion.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with button up

button up


Close securely, fasten, as in The house was all buttoned up, or Button up your coat—it's very cold. [Late 1500s]


Also, button one's lip. Hold one's tongue, keep quiet. For example, Please button your lip about the surprise. A variant of this usage, button one's mouth, dates from the 17th century. [Mid-1800s]


Finish successfully, as in I've got this report all buttoned up. [c. 1940]


In addition to the idioms beginning with button

  • button one's lip
  • button up

also see:

  • cute as a button
  • have all one's buttons
  • on the button
  • push (press) someone's buttons
  • push the panic button


In addition to the idioms beginning with lip

  • lips are sealed, one's
  • lip service

also see:

  • button up (one's lip)
  • keep a stiff upper lip
  • lick one's chops (lips)
  • pass one's lips
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.