Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English boton, from Anglo-French butun rose hip, stud, from buter to thrust — more at butt
Date: 14th century
a. a small knob or disk secured to an article (as of clothing) and used as a fastener by passing it through a buttonhole or loop
b. a usually circular metal or plastic badge bearing a stamped design or printed slogan <campaign button> 2. something that resembles a button: as a. any of various parts or growths of a plant or of an animal: as (1) bud (2) an immature whole mushroom; especially button mushroom (3) the terminal segment of a rattlesnake's rattle b. a small globule of metal remaining after fusion (as in assaying) c. a guard on the tip of a fencing foil 3. a. push button b. something (as a push button) that has the real or symbolic capability of initiating a catastrophe (as a nuclear attack) <has his finger on the button> c. a hidden sensitivity that can be manipulated to produce a desired response <knows how to push my buttons> d. a usually box-shaped computer icon that initiates a specific software function 4. the point of the chin especially as a target for a knockout blow • buttonless adjective II. verb (buttoned; buttoning) Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to furnish or decorate with buttons 2. a. to pass (a button) through a buttonhole or loop b. to close or fasten with buttons — often used with up <button up your overcoat> 3. a. to close (the lips) to prevent speech <button your lip> b. to close or seal tightly — usually used with up <button up the house for winter> intransitive verb to have buttons for fastening <this dress buttons at the back> • buttoner noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.