1 of 2


but·​ton-down ˈbə-tᵊn-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce button-down (audio)
of a collar : having the ends fastened to the garment with buttons
b of a shirt
: having a button-down collar
: having buttons from the collar to the waist
or buttoned-down : conservatively traditional or conventional
especially : adhering to conventional norms in dress and behavior
button-down businessmen


2 of 2


: a shirt with a button-down collar

Examples of button-down in a Sentence

Adjective a button-down architectural firm would never have the imagination to produce such a cutting-edge design
Recent Examples on the Web
This summer fashion staple comes in many materials and silhouettes such as oversized button-down shirts, crochet and netted frocks, and flowy caftan dresses. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 13 May 2024 The wide-leg pants are universally flattering and fit the bill for a comfortable travel look that’s still polished and put together, especially when paired with a button-down. Teddy Minford, Travel + Leisure, 12 May 2024 Try any of these kinds of pairs with a simple outfit like a matching linen set with wide-legged pants, a pair of jeans and a white or striped button-down, or a simple drop waist dress with a bubble hem for a special occasion. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 9 May 2024 Cardi, wearing a blue gingham button-down and pleated plaid miniskirt, made sure to keep the starring accessory, her Himalayan Birkin bag, front and center as she and her on-again, off-again hubby were escorted to their seats. Sam Reed, Glamour, 3 May 2024 Her cropped top had a button-down silhouette with tan and white pinstripes and a tie knot at the center. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 29 Apr. 2024 The button-down oxford-cloth shirt is their native tongue; the yellow dress tie, their inheritance. David Coggins, Robb Report, 27 Apr. 2024 Complete with a relaxed button-down shirt and drawstring shorts, this set is going to be a great addition to my wardrobe for its seemingly endless mix-and-match options. Alexandra Domrongchai, Travel + Leisure, 27 Apr. 2024 The couple later changed into botanical button-down shirts, also by Loewe, printed with artwork from Erwan Frotin. Jessica Testa, New York Times, 26 Apr. 2024
Behold, the dark academia starter pack: a pleated skirt, an argyle sweater, and a button-down shirt. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 17 Mar. 2023 The button-down top with chest pocket and drawstring shorts are made from 95 percent premium viscose from bamboo, making for an amazingly cozy-meets-cooling feel. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 16 Mar. 2023 Rocky, meanwhile, wore a red plaid button-down and green vest with his own pair of jeans. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 16 Mar. 2023 Brody wore a teal suit by Paul Smith, a light blue speckled button-down, a dark blue tie, and black leather dress shoes. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 Mar. 2023 This sleeveless button-down would look perfectly at home paired with a long flowing skirt at a vineyard in Champagne — or dressed up with a blazer and heels for more formal affairs. Kaitlyn McInnis, Travel + Leisure, 13 Mar. 2023 Though some softer, pastel hues were present, the runway remained largely dominated by chic sunglasses, shimmering black gloves, killer high heels, sharp shoulder pads, tight pencil skirts and sleek, button-down dresses. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, 10 Mar. 2023 Selena opted for a more preppy look, pairing her kicks with loose pants and a sweater layered over a button-down shirt. Sabrina Talbert, Women's Health, 9 Mar. 2023 Get colorful for spring with this poppy and pink button-down shirt, alive with butterflies, roses and freehand drawings. The Editors, Los Angeles Times, 9 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'button-down.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1924, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of button-down was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near button-down

Cite this Entry

“Button-down.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/button-down. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!