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push-button

[poo sh-buht-n]
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adjective
  1. operated by or as if by push buttons: push-button tuning.
  2. using complex, automated weapons, as long-range missiles, that require only simple initial steps to put them into action: push-button warfare.
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Origin of push-button

An Americanism dating back to 1875–80

push button

or push·but·ton

noun
  1. a device designed to close or open an electric circuit when a button or knob is depressed, and to return to a normal position when it is released.
  2. the button or knob depressed.
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Origin of push button

An Americanism dating back to 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for push-button

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Mr. Garwell touched a push-button on his desk, and a clerk appeared.

    From Farm to Fortune

    Horatio Alger Jr.

  • Give the location of the electric bell, the electric generator and the push-button.

    Physics

    Willis Eugene Tower

  • "Just you wait until I call the porter," said Roger, and touched the push-button.

  • "I see you have," Cappy cut in blandly, and pressed the push-button on his desk.

    The Go-Getter

    Peter B. Kyne

  • He sighed resignedly and pressed the push-button on his desk.


British Dictionary definitions for push-button

push button

noun
  1. an electrical switch operated by pressing a button, which closes or opens a circuit
  2. push-button (modifier)
    1. operated by a push buttona push-button radio
    2. initiated as simply as by pressing a buttonpush-button warfare
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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 push-button

adj.

"characterized by the use of push-buttons," 1945, originally of military systems, earlier "operated by push-buttons" (1903), from push-button (n.), 1865, from push (v.) + button (n.). Earlier was press-button (1892), from the noun (1879).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper