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1. A small slit in a garment or piece of fabric for fastening a button.
2. Chiefly British A boutonniere.
tr.v. but·ton·holed, but·ton·hol·ing, but·ton·holes
1. To make a buttonhole in.
2. To sew with a buttonhole stitch.
3. To accost and detain (a person) in conversation: "He was also frequently buttonholed by White House lobbyists" (Terence Moran).

[V., sense 3, probably alteration of button-hold.]

but′ton·hol′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Clothing & Fashion) a slit in a garment, etc, through which a button is passed to fasten two surfaces together
2. (Clothing & Fashion) a flower or small bunch of flowers worn pinned to the lapel or in the buttonhole, esp at weddings, formal dances, etc. US name: boutonniere
vb (tr)
3. to detain (a person) in conversation. Also called: buttonhold
4. (Clothing & Fashion) to make buttonholes in
5. (Knitting & Sewing) to sew with buttonhole stitch
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈbʌt nˌhoʊl)

n., v. -holed, -hol•ing. n.
1. the hole, slit, or loop through which a button is passed and by which it is secured.
2. to sew with a buttonhole stitch.
3. to make buttonholes in.
4. to accost and detain (someone) in conversation.
but′ton•hol`er, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle: buttonholed
Gerund: buttonholing

I buttonhole
you buttonhole
he/she/it buttonholes
we buttonhole
you buttonhole
they buttonhole
I buttonholed
you buttonholed
he/she/it buttonholed
we buttonholed
you buttonholed
they buttonholed
Present Continuous
I am buttonholing
you are buttonholing
he/she/it is buttonholing
we are buttonholing
you are buttonholing
they are buttonholing
Present Perfect
I have buttonholed
you have buttonholed
he/she/it has buttonholed
we have buttonholed
you have buttonholed
they have buttonholed
Past Continuous
I was buttonholing
you were buttonholing
he/she/it was buttonholing
we were buttonholing
you were buttonholing
they were buttonholing
Past Perfect
I had buttonholed
you had buttonholed
he/she/it had buttonholed
we had buttonholed
you had buttonholed
they had buttonholed
I will buttonhole
you will buttonhole
he/she/it will buttonhole
we will buttonhole
you will buttonhole
they will buttonhole
Future Perfect
I will have buttonholed
you will have buttonholed
he/she/it will have buttonholed
we will have buttonholed
you will have buttonholed
they will have buttonholed
Future Continuous
I will be buttonholing
you will be buttonholing
he/she/it will be buttonholing
we will be buttonholing
you will be buttonholing
they will be buttonholing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been buttonholing
you have been buttonholing
he/she/it has been buttonholing
we have been buttonholing
you have been buttonholing
they have been buttonholing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been buttonholing
you will have been buttonholing
he/she/it will have been buttonholing
we will have been buttonholing
you will have been buttonholing
they will have been buttonholing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been buttonholing
you had been buttonholing
he/she/it had been buttonholing
we had been buttonholing
you had been buttonholing
they had been buttonholing
I would buttonhole
you would buttonhole
he/she/it would buttonhole
we would buttonhole
you would buttonhole
they would buttonhole
Past Conditional
I would have buttonholed
you would have buttonholed
he/she/it would have buttonholed
we would have buttonholed
you would have buttonholed
they would have buttonholed
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.buttonhole - a hole through which buttons are pushed
garment - an article of clothing; "garments of the finest silk"
hole - an opening deliberately made in or through something
Verb1.buttonhole - detain in conversation by or as if by holding on to the outer garments of; as for political or economic favors
solicit, beg, tap - make a solicitation or entreaty for something; request urgently or persistently; "Henry IV solicited the Pope for a divorce"; "My neighbor keeps soliciting money for different charities"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


verb detain, catch, grab, intercept, accost, waylay, take aside It is not easy to buttonhole her for an interview.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
عُروهيَمْسِكُ بِ، يوقِفُ للتَّحَدُّثِ إلى
knoflíková dírkazastavit a zdržovat řečí
hage sig fast iknaphul
hnappagatnegla, tefja meî masi
gombíková dierka
düğme deliğiiliklâfa tutmaktıraşa tutmak


A. N
1. [of garment] → ojal m
2. (Brit) (= flower) flor que se lleva en el ojal
B. VT (fig) → enganchar
I was buttonholed by BrianBrian me enganchó y no me dejaba irme
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nboutonnière f
vt [+ person] → accrocherbutton lift ntéléski m à perchebutton mushroom n(petit) champignon m de Paris
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


1. nasola, occhiello
to wear a buttonhole → portare un fiore all'occhiello
2. vt (person) → attaccar bottone a or con
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈbatn) noun
1. a knob or disc used as a fastening. I lost a button off my coat.
2. a small knob pressed to operate something. This button turns the radio on.
(often with up) to fasten by means of buttons.
ˈbuttonhole noun
the hole or slit into which a button is put.
to catch someone's attention and hold him in conversation. He buttonholed me and began telling me the story of his life.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
[Enter LORD GORING in evening dress with a buttonhole. He is wearing a silk hat and Inverness cape.
George at his buttonhole and a plain forage cap set straight on his head.
But before they left the garden the Tin Woodman, who was fond of flowers, chanced to espy a big red rose growing upon a bush; so he plucked the flower and fastened it securely in the tin buttonhole of his tin bosom.
The Prince - in the buttonhole of whose frock-coat was a large bunch of Russian violets, passed across the threshold.
This seemed as natural to Newland Archer as all the other conventions on which his life was moulded: such as the duty of using two silver- backed brushes with his monogram in blue enamel to part his hair, and of never appearing in society without a flower (preferably a gardenia) in his buttonhole.
Her boots cheeped all the way down the church aisle; it was common report that she had flesh every day for her dinner; instead of meeting her lover at the pump she walked him into the country, and he returned with wild roses in his buttonhole, his hand up to hide them, and on his face the troubled look of those who know that if they take this lady they must give up drinking from the saucer for evermore.
Da Souza was gorgeous in frock coat and silk hat, a carnation in his buttonhole, a diamond in his black satin tie, yet he was not altogether happy.
I see, faintly, down the dim vista of the Past, an agreeable figure, like myself, with a cocked hat under its arm, black tights on its lightly tripping legs, a rosette in its buttonhole, and an engaging smile on its face, walking from end to end of the room, in the character of Master of the Ceremonies.
As a preliminary to another journey to his bunk, he hooked Wolf Larsen's buttonhole with a greasy forefinger and vacuously proclaimed and reiterated, "I got money, I got money, I tell yer, an' I'm a gentleman's son."
He had a handsome face, an artfully poised hat, a glass in one eye, and a nosegay in his buttonhole. Winterbourne looked at him a moment and then said, "Do you mean to speak to that man?"
Bradley Headstone looked at his finger again, took it out of the buttonhole and looked at it closer, bit the side of it and looked at it again.
When he talked he caught his victim by the buttonhole, and his face kept coming closer and closer-- which was trying, because his teeth were so bad.