Definition of buttoned-up in US English:



  • 1Reserved and not inclined to reveal information.

    ‘Fleischer's buttoned-up style’
    • ‘You were complaining of the lack of adventure and rowdyism in your prim, buttoned-up life.’
    • ‘Even if you're working in a buttoned-up corporate environment, find a way to make the creative workers' space appealing.’
    • ‘But the school's buttoned-up administrators hadn't wanted to involve the police, and the rioters eventually were allowed to graduate.’
    • ‘Life is too joyful for one to walk around being a buttoned-up old grump, do you not think?’
    • ‘Even the buttoned-up CEO risks a smile at the memory.’
    • ‘Nineteen-ninety was the virgin year of the new Republic; however, it created an abnormal normality of unbridled sex rubbing shoulders with buttoned-up religion.’
    • ‘Redford was looking for ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,’ but with his buttoned-up image, producers hesitated.’
    • ‘In Chicago, buttoned-up businesswoman Lorena longs to let her hair down.’
    • ‘If head smooches from the chairman and bear hugs from store employees are disconcerting after nearly 30 years at the more buttoned-up GE, Nardelli isn't letting on.’
    • ‘Unlike us buttoned-up New Orleanians, he spoke in a mellifluous twang, a product of Meridian, Mississippi.’
    • ‘This is the 21st century, and no matter how badly some people want to fight it, the buttoned-up attitudes of the 1950s are gone for good.’
    • ‘Instead of love, what her shoeless Harper gets from buttoned-up husband Joe is a craving for Valium and a nervous breakdown.’
    • ‘The next semester I think he was living with a very buttoned-up girl named Megan in the same apartment complex.’
    • ‘My guess is it's even more so in buttoned-up places, because the less that information is openly shared, the more you need to make evaluations of your colleagues merely for self-protection.’
    • ‘They're the perfect way to keep people guessing whether you're buttoned-up demure or old-school kinky.’
    • ‘Yet at the same time, the buttoned-up authorities are wary of what they fear could come with a successful World Cup - the crowds and the emotions and the drinking and the disorder.’
    • ‘Even so it kept that distinctive face with its slightly wrinkled forehead, alert inquisitive expression and buttoned-up nose.’
    • ‘But he also managed to endear himself to the buttoned-up Kansans, the detectives and especially the two men who were eventually executed for the murders.’
    • ‘Within this group were some of the most provocative online communicators I have ever met, ranging from the hilariously lewd to the buttoned-up and implacably self-righteous.’
    • ‘A more buttoned-up White House than the casual atmosphere apparent during the Clinton years has offices all around the country wanting a bit more formality in the dress code.’
  • 2Secured to the maximum degree against attack.

    ‘the tank had been buttoned up and had not been seriously damaged’
    • ‘A study by Baluk et al. (page 2349) reveals how the organization of junctional proteins might keep endothelial cells in lymphatic vessels buttoned up but still allow fluid and cells to enter.’
    • ‘Battle Management Systems dramatically improve the situational awareness of the tank commander, especially when "buttoned up" for maximum protection.’
    • ‘The BRDM / BRDM - 2 vehicles have a reaction time of one minute to fire from a completely buttoned-up mode.’
    • ‘Never during World War II, when German submarines prowled the coast of Maryland and Delaware, sinking thousands of tons of shipping monthly, was Washington as buttoned-up as today.’