- either of the two fleshy parts or folds forming the margins of the mouth and functioning in speech.
- Usually lips. these parts as organs of speech: I heard it from his own lips.
- a projecting edge on a container or other hollow object: the lip of a pitcher.
- a liplike part or structure, especially of anatomy.
- any edge or rim.
- the edge of an opening or cavity, as of a canyon or a wound: the lip of the crater.
- Slang. impudent talk; back talk: Don't give me any of your lip.
- Botany. either of the two parts into which the corolla or calyx of certain plants, especially of the mint family, is divided.
- a labium.
- the outer or the inner margin of the aperture of a gastropod's shell.
- Music. the position and arrangement of lips and tongue in playing a wind instrument; embouchure.
- the cutting edge of a tool.
- the blade, at the end of an auger, which cuts the chip after it has been circumscribed by the spur.
- (in a twist drill) the cutting edge at the bottom of each flute.
- of or relating to the lips or a lip: lip ointment.
- characterized by or made with the lips: to read lip movements.
- superficial or insincere: to offer lip praise.
- to touch with the lips.
- Golf. to hit the ball over the rim of (the hole).
- to utter, especially softly.
- to kiss.
- to use the lips in playing a musical wind instrument.
- lip off, Slang. to talk impudently or belligerently.
- bite one's lip/tongue, to repress one's anger or other emotions: He wanted to return the insult, but bit his lip.
- button one's lip, Slang. to keep silent, especially, to refrain from revealing information: They told him to button his lip if he didn't want trouble.Also button up.
- hang on the lips of, to listen to very attentively: The members of the club hung on the lips of the visiting lecturer.
- keep a stiff upper lip,
- to face misfortune bravely and resolutely: Throughout the crisis they kept a stiff upper lip.
- to suppress the display of any emotion.
- smack one's lips, to indicate one's keen enjoyment or pleasurable anticipation of: We smacked our lips over the delicious meal.
Origin of lip
- 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
- 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
- either of the two fleshy folds surrounding the mouth, playing an important role in the production of speech sounds, retaining food in the mouth, etcRelated adjective: labial
- (as modifier)lip salve
- the corresponding part in animals, esp mammals
- any structure resembling a lip, such as the rim of a crater, the margin of a gastropod shell, etc
- a nontechnical word for labium, labellum (def. 1)
- slang impudent talk or backchat
- the embouchure and control in the lips needed to blow wind and brass instruments
- bite one's lip
- to stifle one's feelings
- to be annoyed or irritated
- button one's lip or button up one's lip slang to stop talking: often imperative
- keep a stiff upper lip to maintain one's courage or composure during a time of trouble without giving way to or revealing one's emotions
- lick one's lips or smack one's lips to anticipate or recall something with glee or relish
- (tr) to touch with the lip or lips
- (tr) to form or be a lip or lips for
- (tr) rare to murmur or whisper
- (intr) to use the lips in playing a wind instrument
Word Origin for lip
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."
c.1600, "to kiss," from lip (n.). Meaning "to pronounce with the lips only" is from 1789. Related: Lipped; lipping.
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.
Old English lippa, from Proto-Germanic *lepjon (cf. Old Frisian lippa, Middle Dutch lippe, Dutch lip, Old High German lefs, German Lefze, Swedish läpp, Danish læbe), from PIE *leb- "to lick; lip" (cf. Latin labium).
French lippe is from a Germanic source. Transferred sense of "edge or margin of a cup, etc." is from 1590s. Slang sense "saucy talk" is from 1821, probably from move the lip (1570s) "utter even the slightest word (against someone)." To bite (one's) lip "show vexation" is from early 14c. Stiff upper lip as a sign of courage is from 1833. Lip gloss is attested from 1939; lip balm from 1877. Related: Lips.
- Either of two fleshy folds that surround the opening of the mouth.
- A liplike structure bounding or encircling a bodily cavity or groove.
- A knoblike structure, device, or lesion.
button one's lip
see button up, def. 2.
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
In addition to the idioms beginning with lip
- lips are sealed, one's
- lip service
- button up (one's lip)
- keep a stiff upper lip
- lick one's chops (lips)
- pass one's lips