Meaning of BUTTON in English

I. but ‧ ton 1 S2 /ˈbʌtn/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: boton , from boter ; ⇨ ↑ butt 2 ]

1 . a small round flat object on your shirt, coat etc that you pass through a hole to fasten it:

small pearl buttons

A button was missing from his shirt.

She undid (=unfastened) the buttons of her blouse.

do up a button British English (=fasten a button)

2 . a small part or area of a machine that you press to make it do something:

Press the pause button.

Click on the icon with the right mouse button.

⇨ ↑ push-button

3 . a small area on a computer screen, especially on a website, that you ↑ click on in order to perform an action

4 . American English a small metal or plastic pin with a message or picture on it SYN badge British English :

presidential campaign buttons

5 . button nose/eyes a nose or eyes that are small and round

6 . on the button especially American English informal exactly right, or at exactly the right time:

She got to our house at two, on the button.

7 . press/push (all) the right buttons to get what you want by behaving in a clever way:

She seemed to push all the right buttons.

8 . press/push sb’s buttons to make someone angry by doing or saying something that annoys them:

He really knows how to push Dad’s buttons.

9 . at/with the push/touch of a button used to emphasize how easy a machine is to use because it is controlled by pushing a button:

The instrument can gauge a distance with the push of a button.

⇨ as bright as a button at ↑ bright (7)

• • •


■ verbs

▪ fasten a button

Small children can't fasten their own buttons.

▪ do up a button (=fasten it)

He quickly did up the buttons on his shirt.

▪ unfasten a button

Can you unfasten this button for me?

▪ undo a button (=unfasten it)

I can't undo the buttons on the back of this dress.

▪ a button is missing

Two of the buttons on the jacket were missing.

▪ a button comes off something

A button has come off my skirt.

▪ something has lost a button

His favourite shirt had lost a button.

▪ sew on a button

It doesn't take a minute to sew on a button.


▪ the top/bottom button

He was wearing a white shirt with the top button undone.

▪ a shirt/skirt/coat etc button

Is this your coat button?

II. button 2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]

1 . ( also button up ) to fasten clothes with buttons, or to be fastened with buttons:

Sam, make sure Nina buttons up her jacket.

2 . button it! British English , button your lip/mouth! American English spoken used to tell someone in a rude way to stop talking

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.