Definition of buttonhole in English:

buttonhole

noun

  • 1A slit made in a garment to receive a button for fastening.

    • ‘Miller began hooking small buttons into buttonholes down at the top of the skirt and continued up the bodice, pulling the fabric tightly to smooth out all the wrinkles.’
    • ‘Attach a heavier than normal interfacing scrap (or two layers of interfacing) on the garment wrong side before constructing the buttonhole.’
    • ‘Her hands easily slid the first large white buttons out of the buttonhole.’
    • ‘Check for welted buttonholes; they normally look like mail slots.’
    • ‘The pattern will indicate placement for buttons and buttonholes but final locations are best determined after the pattern is altered and fitted to you.’
    • ‘Arrange the flowers in a cascade from the right front shoulder seam down the center front, working around the buttonhole.’
    • ‘Another approach is to take a shirt that fits you perfectly and determine the distance between the middle of its collar button to the far end of the buttonhole.’
    • ‘Unlike the handsaw, which was refined over time, the button and its buttonhole simply appeared in northern Europe in the thirteenth century - true works of an anonymous inventive genius.’
    • ‘Make the samples on the same number of fabric and interfacing layers that are in the garment where the buttonholes are located.’
    • ‘Truth is, the best shirts made in recent years have all had two buttonholes on each cuff.’
    • ‘If you are planning on making buttonholes, then interface the center front edges of both front pieces.’
    • ‘Test-stitch buttonholes before stitching on the garment.’
    • ‘Touches such as real cuff buttonholes or hand-finished lapels now come into play.’
    • ‘Buttons and buttonholes should sit inside the topstitching, never overlap it.’
    • ‘Although the bar tack is frequently the buttonhole of choice, many machines can make rounded and keyhole buttonholes, as well as eyelets.’
    • ‘Details like workmanship, buttons, buttonholes, cuffs, and seams are usually good indicators of the item's quality and authenticity. where to find the goods’
    • ‘On the center front of a garment, horizontal buttonholes are the most secure and help prevent the opening from gaping.’
    • ‘It usually presents a double row of buttons with a single row of buttonholes.’
    • ‘It should be worn on the outside of the buttonhole, and not in it.’
    • ‘In the course of ten classes she would learn to hem, fell seams, draw threads, gather stitches, edge buttonholes, sew on buttons, make herringbone stitches, darn holes, tuck pleats, and mark linen.’
    1. 1.1British A flower or spray worn in a buttonhole on the lapel of a jacket.
      • ‘The bride's choice of bouquet and the bridegroom's buttonhole are made from fresh flowers.’
      • ‘‘I know he has nothing to do with this,’ said Jamal Awadallah, who was wearing a red, white and blue Together We Stand buttonhole.’
      • ‘The campaign centres on the sale of silk buttonhole daffodils and bunches of fresh daffodils by over 5,000 volunteers countrywide.’
      • ‘But they have as much and as little to do with gardens as a buttonhole or a bridal bouquet.’
      • ‘Just before slipping into the back seat of the car, gardener Tom would pick a flower for his boss' buttonhole.’
      • ‘John was a colourful figure, with a predilection for striped blazers, white silk dinner jackets, hats, buttonholes, and club ties, of which he had a magnificent collection.’
      • ‘The bride's bouquet and 30 buttonholes for the guests failed to turn up at the couple's home.’
      • ‘Flowers for Julie's bouquet and her partner's buttonhole are included.’
      • ‘A Shrivenham florist made a wedding at Cricklade a happy event by stepping in after a Swindon firm failed to deliver the bride's bouquet and 30 buttonholes for guests.’
      • ‘Both children received a special cup, as well as a posy of flowers for the princess and a buttonhole for the prince.’
      • ‘Corbett later recalled that belts, coats, hats, and canes, and flowers from buttonholes - the accoutrements of gentlemen - are all flung his way.’
      • ‘As for the hired morning suit complete with cravat and matching buttonhole, alas, there was nothing I could have done about that.’
      • ‘Brenda Fitzell and Lesley Irvine were thanked for the table flowers and birthday buttonholes.’
      bouquet, bunch, posy, nosegay, corsage
      View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • 1informal Attract the attention of and detain (someone) in conversation, typically against their will.

    ‘reporters buttonhole officials coming out of the press secretary's office’
    • ‘Don't laugh - people who make enclosures have buttonholed me at trade shows and now I'm persuaded that the enclosure is more than just a box.’
    • ‘Another guest then buttonholes me in another corner to complain about the wedding he was at last week.’
    • ‘He buttonholed me by the shops and gave me the story of his life.’
    • ‘I've just spent the past hour or so buttonholing people wandering around and asking them what they think of the new products.’
    • ‘That extraordinary relaxed style with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other as he buttonholed us with wonderful jokes and stories is the image that we shall remember.’
    • ‘In one of the book's most moving passages, Power describes Lemkin forlornly stalking the passages of the UN, dishevelled and faint from hunger, buttonholing any delegates or journalists who would listen.’
    • ‘It was in the ‘Sensation’ show that he buttonholed me and asked ‘What's all this about then?’’
    • ‘You may occasionally be accosted in a public place by an attaccabottoni, a doleful bore who buttonholes people and tells sad, pointless tales.’
    • ‘Over subsequent days I buttonholed musicians in precincts and plazas in an attempt to discover if the busking community as a whole was, like indigent Eddie, experiencing lean times.’
    • ‘I needn't have worried, because Forrest cut such a jovial and outgoing figure that I briefly wondered if I had buttonholed the wrong man.’
    • ‘Next we buttonholed a ten-year-old boy who just did not understand why he was offered a bottle of beer when all he wanted was an exercise book to do his homework.’
    • ‘He was really getting desperate when, eventually, he started thinking clearly and buttonholed the mother of the doll owner at playschool.’
    • ‘Registration clerks based in public places throughout Nunavut have been buttonholing voters for the past two months, recording their names and addresses for entry into a permanent voters' registry stored in a computer database.’
    • ‘When Congress convened, wealthy dealers in securities swarmed around Federal Hall on Wall Street, buttonholing members and trying to ferret out the details of Hamilton's program.’
    • ‘What noun sums up the inescapable bore who buttonholes you to make a pitch or unload on you an interminable tale of woe?’
    • ‘After he talked to me, he prowled the university halls buttonholing random students and asking them questions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After that it takes Kernaghan a half-hour to get out of the hall as people keep buttonholing him.’
    • ‘He had consulted female relatives and older women in his village and buttonholed family members in other towns in a quest for leads.’
    • ‘But now, as Kurt and I moved tentatively toward where Pam had buttonholed him, Murdoch seemed not only unaccompanied but alone.’
    accost, speak to, talk to, call to, shout to, hail, initiate a discussion with
    View synonyms
  • 2Make buttonholes in (a garment).

    • ‘Roman cutwork or Colbert embroidery is one of the prettiest forms of buttonholing.’
    • ‘The edges are buttonholed all around.’
    • ‘When the contacts on the presser foot ride over the markers, a circuit is completed and proper steps in the buttonholing sequence are initiated.’
    • ‘This class also includes units mainly engaged in providing clothing trade services such as hem stitching, basque knitting or buttonholing.’

Pronunciation

buttonhole

/ˈbʌt(ə)nhəʊl/