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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.


a person who buttonholes
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.