Definition of buttonhole in English:



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

    • ‘Buttons and buttonholes should sit inside the topstitching, never overlap it.’
    • ‘Her hands easily slid the first large white buttons out of the buttonhole.’
    • ‘Test-stitch buttonholes before stitching on the garment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Details like workmanship, buttons, buttonholes, cuffs, and seams are usually good indicators of the item's quality and authenticity. where to find the goods’
    • ‘Truth is, the best shirts made in recent years have all had two buttonholes on each cuff.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Touches such as real cuff buttonholes or hand-finished lapels now come into play.’
    • ‘On the center front of a garment, horizontal buttonholes are the most secure and help prevent the opening from gaping.’
    • ‘Check for welted buttonholes; they normally look like mail slots.’
    • ‘Attach a heavier than normal interfacing scrap (or two layers of interfacing) on the garment wrong side before constructing the buttonhole.’
    • ‘Although the bar tack is frequently the buttonhole of choice, many machines can make rounded and keyhole buttonholes, as well as eyelets.’
    • ‘Arrange the flowers in a cascade from the right front shoulder seam down the center front, working around the buttonhole.’
    • ‘It usually presents a double row of buttons with a single row of buttonholes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you are planning on making buttonholes, then interface the center front edges of both front pieces.’
    • ‘It should be worn on the outside of the buttonhole, and not in it.’
    • ‘The pattern will indicate placement for buttons and buttonholes but final locations are best determined after the pattern is altered and fitted to you.’
    1. 1.1British A boutonnière.
      • ‘As for the hired morning suit complete with cravat and matching buttonhole, alas, there was nothing I could have done about that.’
      • ‘Just before slipping into the back seat of the car, gardener Tom would pick a flower for his boss' buttonhole.’
      • ‘The bride's choice of bouquet and the bridegroom's buttonhole are made from fresh flowers.’
      • ‘Flowers for Julie's bouquet and her partner's buttonhole are included.’
      • ‘The campaign centres on the sale of silk buttonhole daffodils and bunches of fresh daffodils by over 5,000 volunteers countrywide.’
      • ‘‘I know he has nothing to do with this,’ said Jamal Awadallah, who was wearing a red, white and blue Together We Stand buttonhole.’
      bouquet, bunch, posy, nosegay, corsage
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  • 1informal Attract the attention of and detain (someone) in conversation, typically against his or her will.

    • ‘You may occasionally be accosted in a public place by an attaccabottoni, a doleful bore who buttonholes people and tells sad, pointless tales.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was in the ‘Sensation’ show that he buttonholed me and asked ‘What's all this about then?’’
    • ‘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 had consulted female relatives and older women in his village and buttonholed family members in other towns in a quest for leads.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What noun sums up the inescapable bore who buttonholes you to make a pitch or unload on you an interminable tale of woe?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another guest then buttonholes me in another corner to complain about the wedding he was at last week.’
    • ‘But now, as Kurt and I moved tentatively toward where Pam had buttonholed him, Murdoch seemed not only unaccompanied but alone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was really getting desperate when, eventually, he started thinking clearly and buttonholed the mother of the doll owner at playschool.’
    • ‘After he talked to me, he prowled the university halls buttonholing random students and asking them questions.’
    • ‘After that it takes Kernaghan a half-hour to get out of the hall as people keep buttonholing him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I've just spent the past hour or so buttonholing people wandering around and asking them what they think of the new products.’
    • ‘He buttonholed me by the shops and gave me the story of his life.’
    • ‘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.’
    speak to, talk to, call to, shout to, hail, initiate a discussion with
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  • 2Make slits for receiving buttons in (a garment)

    • ‘This class also includes units mainly engaged in providing clothing trade services such as hem stitching, basque knitting or buttonholing.’
    • ‘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.’