• Button


    • UK IPA: /ˈbʌt.n̩/, /ˈbʌt.ən/
    • Rhymes: -ʌtən


    From Old French boton (French bouton), itself either from Late Latin *bottōnem, probably ultimately from a language, or from bouter + -on.

    Full definition of button



    (plural buttons)
    1. A knob or disc that is passed through a loop or (buttonhole), serving as a fastener. from the mid-13th c.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, The Celebrity Chapter 1, I liked the man for his own sake, and even had he promised to turn out a celebrity it would have had no weight with me. I look upon notoriety with the same indifference as on the buttons on a man's shirt-front, or the crest on his note-paper.
    2. April fastened the buttons of her overcoat to keep out the wind.
    3. A mechanical device meant to be pressed with a finger in order to open or close an electric circuit or to activate a mechanism.
      Pat pushed the button marked "shred" on the blender.
    4. (graphical user interface) An on-screen control that can be selected as an activator of an attached function.
      Click the button that looks like a house to return to your browser's home page.
    5. (US) A badge worn on clothes, fixed with a pin through the fabric.
      The politician wore a bright yellow button with the slogan "Vote Smart" emblazoned on it.
    6. (botany) A bud.
    7. (slang) The clitoris.
    8. (curling) The center (bullseye) of the house.
    9. (fencing) The soft circular tip at the end of a foil.
    10. (poker) A plastic disk used to represent the person in last position in a poker game; also dealer's button.
    11. (poker) The player who is last to act after the flop, turn and river, who possesses the button.
    12. A raised pavement marker to further indicate the presence of a pavement marking painted stripe.
    13. (South Africa, slang) A methaqualone tablet (used as a recreational drug).
    14. A piece of wood or metal, usually flat and elongated, turning on a nail or screw, to fasten something, such as a door.
    15. A globule of metal remaining on an assay cupel or in a crucible, after fusion.
    16. A knob; a small ball; a small, roundish mass.
    17. A small white blotch on a cat's coat.

    Usage notes

    For the senses 2 and 3, a button is often marked by a verb rather than a noun, and the button itself is called with the verb and button. For example, a button to start something is generally called start button.


    1. (transitive) To fasten with a button. from the late 14th c.
      • Charles DickensHe was a tall, fat, long-bodied man, buttoned up to the throat in a tight green coat.
    2. (intransitive) To be fastened by a button or buttons.The coat will not button.
    © Wiktionary