but·​ton·​hook ˈbə-tᵊn-ˌhu̇k How to pronounce buttonhook (audio)
: a hook for drawing small buttons through buttonholes
: an offensive play in football in which the pass receiver runs straight downfield and then abruptly cuts back toward the line of scrimmage
buttonhook intransitive verb

Examples of buttonhook in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The route begins in Boerum Hill with a buttonhook into the historical affluence of Brooklyn Heights before doubling back through Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. Justin Beal, Harper’s Magazine , 14 Dec. 2022 The approach establishes the stakes: No access to legal abortions for a long time meant death for many women, who resorted to poking corset ribs, buttonhooks, hairpins and knitting needles through the cervix to disrupt unwanted pregnancies. Elizabeth Rusch, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'buttonhook.' 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

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of buttonhook was in 1788

Dictionary Entries Near buttonhook

Cite this Entry

“Buttonhook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buttonhook. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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