EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN noun the hole, slit, or loop through which a button is passed and by which it is secured. . Chiefly British a boutonniere. . 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. to make buttonholes in. 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
hole Related forms but·ton·hol·er, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for button-hole Historical Examples of button-hole British Dictionary definitions for button-hole noun a slit in a garment, etc, through which a button is passed to fasten two surfaces together a flower or small bunch of flowers worn pinned to the lapel or in the buttonhole, esp at weddings, formal dances, etc US name: boutonniere verb (tr) to detain (a person) in conversation to make buttonholes in to sew with buttonhole stitch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for button-hole n.
button (n.) + hole (n.). The verb, also buttonhole, meaning "to detain (someone) in conversation against his will" (1862) was earlier button-hold (1834), from button-holder (1806, in this sense). The image is of holding someone by the coat-button so as to detain him.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
n. A short straight surgical cut made through the wall of a cavity or canal. The contraction of an orifice down to a narrow slit, as in mitral stenosis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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