n. & v.
1. a small disc or knob sewn on to a garment, either to fasten it by being pushed through a buttonhole, or as an ornament or badge.
2 a knob on a piece of esp. electronic equipment which is pressed to operate it.
3 a a small round object (chocolate buttons). b (attrib.) anything resembling a button (button nose).
4 a a bud. b a button mushroom.
5 Fencing a terminal knob on a foil making it harmless.
1. tr. & intr. button up 1.
2 tr. supply with buttons.
Phrases and idioms:
buttonball tree (or button wood) US a plane-tree, Platanus occidentalis. button chrysanthemum a variety of chrysanthemum with small spherical flowers. buttoned up colloq.
1. formal and inhibited in manner.
2 silent. button one's lip esp. US sl. remain silent. button mushroom a young unopened mushroom. button-through (of a dress) fastened with buttons from neck to hem like a coat.
1. fasten with buttons.
2 colloq. complete (a task etc.) satisfactorily.
3 colloq. become silent. not worth a button worthless. on the button esp. US sl. precisely.
buttoned adj. buttonless adj. buttony adj.
Etymology: ME f. OF bouton, ult. f. Gmc