button

noun, often attributive
but·​ton | \ ˈbə-tᵊn How to pronounce button (audio) \

Definition of button

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a small knob or disk secured to an article (as of clothing) and used as a fastener by passing it through a buttonhole or loop
b : a usually circular metal or plastic badge bearing a stamped design or printed slogan campaign button
2 : something that resembles a button: such as
a : any of various parts or growths of a plant or of an animal: such as
(1) : bud
(2) : an immature whole mushroom especially : button mushroom
(3) : the terminal segment of a rattlesnake's rattle
b : a small globule of metal remaining after fusion (as in assaying)
c : a guard on the tip of a fencing foil
b : something (such as a push button) that has the real or symbolic capability of initiating a catastrophe (such as a nuclear attack) has his finger on the button
c : a hidden sensitivity that can be manipulated to produce a desired response knows how to push my buttons
d : a usually box-shaped computer icon that initiates a specific software function
4 : the point of the chin especially as a target for a knockout blow
on the button
: exactly arrived at noon on the button also : exactly on target : on the nose the estimate was right on the button

button

verb
buttoned; buttoning\ ˈbət-​niŋ How to pronounce buttoning (audio) , ˈbə-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of button (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish or decorate with buttons
2a : to pass (a button) through a buttonhole or loop
b : to close or fasten with buttons often used with up button up your overcoat
3a : to close (the lips) to prevent speech button your lip
b : to close or seal tightly usually used with up button up the house for winter

intransitive verb

: to have buttons for fastening this dress buttons at the back

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Other Words from button

Noun

buttonless \ ˈbə-​tᵊn-​ləs How to pronounce buttonless (audio) \ adjective

Verb

buttoner \ ˈbət-​nər How to pronounce buttoner (audio) , ˈbə-​tᵊn-​ər \ noun

Examples of button in a Sentence

Noun

a dress with buttons down the back I lost a button on my jacket. He took off his tie and undid the top button of his shirt. Will you please push the ‘play’ button on the CD player? With a fax machine, you can send a document across the country with the touch of a button. If the information on the registration form is correct, click the ‘OK’ button.

Verb

He rarely buttons the top button on his shirt. Will you button the baby's jacket for her? The skirt buttons on the side.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This free add-on locks the social network inside what amounts to a separate virtual browser, at the cost of breaking the Like and Share buttons and Facebook comments at many sites (USA TODAY’s included). Michelle Maltais, USA TODAY, "Mozilla Firefox ups tracking protection to match Safari, exceed Chrome," 4 June 2019 Users can tap the button and authenticate with Face ID to log in to an account without revealing personal information to the third-party app developer. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iOS 13: Apple brings Dark Mode to iPhones and multitasking overhaul to iPads," 3 June 2019 The main source of speculation is Swift's jacket on the cover, which is covered with tons of different buttons and pins. Glamour, "All the Hidden References on Taylor Swift's New Magazine Cover," 9 May 2019 And then there is the future of the dash itself, a source of endless complaints from drivers frustrated by its glitchy concoction of buttons and technologies. William Boston, WSJ, "The Battle for the Last Unconquered Screen—The One in Your Car," 6 Apr. 2019 But one Louisville fan has finally found the way to push his buttons. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "The Louisville fan's insult that finally got to UK coach John Calipari," 26 June 2018 This year, each branch will be handing out its own distinctive button or pin. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Library punches all the buttons for annual Waldo contest," 25 June 2018 The gadgets can be disabled through reset buttons and changing a home’s Wi-Fi password, but their makers said there was no catchall fix. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, "Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse," 23 June 2018 Kardashian’s orange bikini by Lisa Marie Fernandez featured buttons and ruffles, giving it a retro feel. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Bikini-Clad Kourtney Kardashian Has Mediterranean Makeout with Younes Bendjima While Swimming in Italy," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Blake, who voiced the character Ox in the cartoon film, opted for his go-to button down and jeans look. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani Hit the Red Carpet With Her Sons for the First Time Ever," 29 Apr. 2019 For her top, Kate opted for a cardigan by Brora, but cleverly buttoned it up and wore it like a blouse. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Attends a Christmas Party in the Perfect Plaid Skirt by Emilia Wickstead," 4 Dec. 2018 But before the camera, buttoned and zipped into those clothes, all was very well, indeed. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Happy Birthday, Romy Schneider! Revisiting the Star’s Enduring Style," 23 Sep. 2018 And so the Apple Card charges into the financial world in which cheery, millennial-baiting websites and apps try to displace the gloomy, buttoned-up mortgage lenders and bankers of old with smile and that Silicon Valley sheen. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Apple Is a Credit Card Company Now," 25 Mar. 2019 In 1967, the Big Five was buttoned-down basketball. Frank Fitzpatrick, Philly.com, "Temple's Drew Nolan, the Owl without an off-switch | Frank's Place," 8 June 2018 Zuckerberg stood up and buttoned his suit jacket and walked away. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Forget what you thought about rooftop solar and consider these seven things instead," 10 Apr. 2018 Here are 16 fresh takes to button up with everything in your closet from now till October. Yang-yi Goh, GQ, "Meet the Only Button-Down You Can Wear Every Day of the Week," 5 July 2018 This floral blazer works as both a coat over jeans and a T-shirt, or buttoned up as a dress with heels. Harper's BAZAAR, "5 Fall Looks That Will Instantly Improve Your Wardrobe," 19 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'button.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of button

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for button

Noun

Middle English boton, from Anglo-French butun rose hip, stud, from buter to thrust — more at butt

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Statistics for button

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for button

The first known use of button was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for button

button

noun

English Language Learners Definition of button

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small, usually round piece of plastic, glass, metal, etc., that is sewn to a piece of clothing and is pushed through a loop or hole to fasten one part of the clothing to another part
US : a small, usually round sign that has a picture or words on the front and a pin on the back
: a small part of a machine that you push to make the machine work

button

verb

English Language Learners Definition of button (Entry 2 of 2)

: to attach (a button) by passing it through a hole
: to close or fasten (something) with buttons
: to have buttons for fastening

button

noun
but·​ton | \ ˈbə-tᵊn How to pronounce button (audio) \

Kids Definition of button

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small ball or disk used for holding parts of a garment together or as an ornament
2 : a small often round part of a machine that makes the machine do something when pushed

button

verb
buttoned; buttoning

Kids Definition of button (Entry 2 of 2)

: to close or fasten with buttons

button

noun
but·​ton | \ ˈbət-ᵊn How to pronounce button (audio) \

Medical Definition of button

: something that resembles a small knob or disk: as
a : the terminal segment of a rattlesnake's rattle

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More from Merriam-Webster on button

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with button

Spanish Central: Translation of button

Nglish: Translation of button for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of button for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about button

Comments on button

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