[ buht-n-hohl ]
/ ˈbʌt nˌhoʊl /


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 sew with a buttonhole stitch.
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 1555–65; button + hole


but·ton·hol·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for buttonholing

British Dictionary definitions for buttonholing

/ (ˈbʌtənˌhəʊl) /


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, etcUS 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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for buttonholing

[ bŭtn-hōl′ ]


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 Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.