Definition of buttonhole in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbətnˌhōl/


1A slit made in a garment to receive a button for fastening.
Example sentences
  • Details like workmanship, buttons, buttonholes, cuffs, and seams are usually good indicators of the item's quality and authenticity. where to find the goods
  • Make the samples on the same number of fabric and interfacing layers that are in the garment where the buttonholes are located.
  • On the center front of a garment, horizontal buttonholes are the most secure and help prevent the opening from gaping.
1.1British A boutonnière.
Example sentences
  • ‘I know he has nothing to do with this,’ said Jamal Awadallah, who was wearing a red, white and blue Together We Stand buttonhole.
  • As for the hired morning suit complete with cravat and matching buttonhole, alas, there was nothing I could have done about that.
  • The bride's choice of bouquet and the bridegroom's buttonhole are made from fresh flowers.


[with object]
1 informal Attract the attention of and detain (someone) in conversation, typically against his or her will.
Example sentences
  • Around the adjacent display of scientifically-valuable spinning tops and dinosaur models stood a man buttonholing people to get signatures on a petition to save the place.
  • I've just spent the past hour or so buttonholing people wandering around and asking them what they think of the new products.
  • After that it takes Kernaghan a half-hour to get out of the hall as people keep buttonholing him.
2Make slits for receiving buttons in (a garment).
Example sentences
  • When the contacts on the presser foot ride over the markers, a circuit is completed and proper steps in the buttonholing sequence are initiated.
  • Roman cutwork or Colbert embroidery is one of the prettiest forms of buttonholing.
  • The edges are buttonholed all around.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: but·ton·hole

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