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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.


a person who buttonholes
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Automatic chainstitch eyelet buttonholer with CNC step motor technology.
Thanks to hefty lobbying clout (their chief buttonholer is Carroll Campbell, former governor of South Carolina and former member of the House Ways and Means Committee), the highly profitable mutual companies have been able to maintain a loophole that allows them to skirt nearly $2 billion in taxes annually.
These machines can also handle a wide variety of styles, fabrics, and sizes-a buttonholer can be adjusted to produce as many holes as style dictates; a seamer can sew a 28- or 38-inch inseam.