To hold by the button
Button But"ton, n. [OE. boton, botoun, F. bouton button, bud, prop. something pushing out, fr. bouter to push. See {Butt} an end.] 1. A knob; a small ball; a small, roundish mass. [1913 Webster]

2. A catch, of various forms and materials, used to fasten together the different parts of dress, by being attached to one part, and passing through a slit, called a buttonhole, in the other; -- used also for ornament. [1913 Webster]

3. A bud; a germ of a plant. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. A piece of wood or metal, usually flat and elongated, turning on a nail or screw, to fasten something, as a door. [1913 Webster]

5. A globule of metal remaining on an assay cupel or in a crucible, after fusion. [1913 Webster]

{Button hook}, a hook for catching a button and drawing it through a buttonhole, as in buttoning boots and gloves.

{Button shell} (Zo["o]l.), a small, univalve marine shell of the genus {Rotella}.

{Button snakeroot}. (Bot.) (a) The American composite genus {Liatris}, having rounded buttonlike heads of flowers. (b) An American umbelliferous plant with rigid, narrow leaves, and flowers in dense heads.

{Button tree} (Bot.), a genus of trees ({Conocarpus}), furnishing durable timber, mostly natives of the West Indies.

{To hold by the button}, to detain in conversation to weariness; to bore; to buttonhole. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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