verb (used with object), but·ton·holed, but·ton·hol·ing.
- buttoned up,
- buttonhole someone,
- buttonhole stitch,
Origin of buttonhole
Examples from the Web for button-hole
This tooth-brush in the button-hole is a very common custom, and has a most quaint effect.Three Months in the Southern States, April-June 1863|Arthur J. L. (Lieut.-Col.) Fremantle
These badges are seven eighths of an inch wide and are made either for the button-hole or with safety-pin clasp.Boy Scouts Handbook|Boy Scouts of America
Edna selected a rosebud, which she gave to her companion, who placed it in his button-hole.Mark Gildersleeve|John S. Sauzade
Always stick your napkin in your button-hole at the dinner table, if you admit such French superfluities at all.
He must have a coat to his back before he can stick a rose in its button-hole.Tracks of a Rolling Stone|Henry J. Coke
1560s, from 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.