Definition of buttoned-up in US English:



  • 1Reserved and not inclined to reveal information.

    ‘Fleischer's buttoned-up style’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even so it kept that distinctive face with its slightly wrinkled forehead, alert inquisitive expression and buttoned-up nose.’
    • ‘They're the perfect way to keep people guessing whether you're buttoned-up demure or old-school kinky.’
    • ‘Life is too joyful for one to walk around being a buttoned-up old grump, do you not think?’
    • ‘Instead of love, what her shoeless Harper gets from buttoned-up husband Joe is a craving for Valium and a nervous breakdown.’
    • ‘Unlike us buttoned-up New Orleanians, he spoke in a mellifluous twang, a product of Meridian, Mississippi.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The next semester I think he was living with a very buttoned-up girl named Megan in the same apartment complex.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In Chicago, buttoned-up businesswoman Lorena longs to let her hair down.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You were complaining of the lack of adventure and rowdyism in your prim, buttoned-up life.’
    • ‘But the school's buttoned-up administrators hadn't wanted to involve the police, and the rioters eventually were allowed to graduate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even the buttoned-up CEO risks a smile at the memory.’
    • ‘Redford was looking for ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,’ but with his buttoned-up image, producers hesitated.’
    • ‘Even if you're working in a buttoned-up corporate environment, find a way to make the creative workers' space appealing.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘The BRDM / BRDM - 2 vehicles have a reaction time of one minute to fire from a completely buttoned-up mode.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’