Definition of unbutton in English:



  • 1with object Unfasten the buttons of (a garment)

    ‘unbuttoning her jacket she sat down at the table’
    • ‘The older woman was shocked to see that the kurti the girl was wearing was almost fully unbuttoned.’
    • ‘She half opened her eyes and watched as he removed his cape and tunic to unbutton his shirt.’
    • ‘Hornblower put the razor down, threw his hat on his bunk, pulled off his topcoat and began unbuttoning his vest.’
    • ‘I took an undershirt and a red and blue plaid one, leaving it unbuttoned.’
    • ‘All we need in order to master the operation of a digital camera is how to turn a few buttons, as if unbuttoning our jacket in a dark room.’
    • ‘He unbuttoned his shirt and threw it to the ground.’
    • ‘His button down shirt was unbuttoned, letting his strong, pale-skinned, muscles show.’
    • ‘Then a nurse came and took me into another room, where I had to take off my coat and unbutton my shirt again.’
    • ‘I shouldn't complain, but I always feel such outsized portions are a bit unnecessary at this stage of the meal, and that starters should leave you wanting more, not unbuttoning your trousers.’
    • ‘The crowd almost erupted when, during his rendition of the Sinatra classic Mac the Knife, he started to unbutton his shirt.’
    • ‘Fully fueled and back in my car, I discovered my shirt was unbuttoned.’
    • ‘Jake's shirt was unbuttoned and his belt hung undone at his waist.’
    • ‘Next thing, he unbuttons his shirt and holds it aloft, soliciting passers-by: ‘Shirt for sale, no reasonable offer refused.’’
    • ‘His shirt is normally unbuttoned just a little more than most people would choose, and his face mirrors his emotions quite beautifully.’
    • ‘She began unbuttoning her coat and pulling off her scarf.’
    • ‘Sitting in an armchair in the senator's office, Alito forgot to unbutton his suit jacket, causing his tie to stick out and his jacket to bunch up.’
    • ‘I unbuttoned my jumper, and pulled it quickly off.’
    • ‘I had to take it back off my head and unbutton the shirt, which contained a live spider somewhere.’
    • ‘At least you and Father can take off your jackets and unbutton your shirts part of the way.’
    • ‘The blouse I wore was crisp and white, cuffed, predictably, below my elbows, and unbuttoned only down to the second popper.’
    unfasten, disconnect, disengage, part, separate, uncouple, remove, loose, loosen, untie, unhitch, undo, unhook, unzip, free, sever, pull off, cut off, clip off, hack off, chop off, prune off, nip off, tear off, break off, strip off, disunite
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  • 2informal no object Relax and become less inhibited.

    ‘unbutton a little, Molly’
    • ‘This isn't the first time I've been here when there has been a group of very noisy women who seem to be using dining as an excuse to get hammered with their mates and unbutton a little.’
    relax, loosen up, ease off, ease up, let up, slow down, de-stress, unbend, rest, repose
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