[ uhn-buht-n ]
/ ʌnˈbʌt n /

verb (used with object)

to free (buttons) from buttonholes; unfasten or undo.
to unfasten by or as if by unbuttoning: to unbutton a jacket.
to disclose (one's feelings, thoughts, etc.) after deliberate or prolonged silence.

verb (used without object)

to unfasten a button or one's buttons.


Nearby words

  1. unbundle,
  2. unbundled,
  3. unbundling,
  4. unburden,
  5. unburied,
  6. unbuttoned,
  7. unc,
  8. uncage,
  9. uncaged,
  10. uncal

Origin of unbutton

First recorded in 1275–1325, unbutton is from the Middle English word unbotenen. See un-2, button

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unbutton

British Dictionary definitions for unbutton


/ (ʌnˈbʌtən) /


to undo by unfastening (the buttons) of (a garment)
informal to release or relax (oneself, tension, etc)
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 unbutton



early 14c., from un- (2) "opposite of" + button (v.). Related: Unbuttoned; unbuttoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper