transitive verb-·holed·, -·hol·ing
- to make buttonholes in
- to make with a buttonhole stitch
- to make (a person) listen to one, as if by grasping his or her coat by a buttonhole
- A small slit in a garment or piece of fabric for fastening a button.
- Chiefly British A boutonniere.
transitive verbbut·ton·holed, but·ton·hol·ing, but·ton·holes
- To make a buttonhole in.
- To sew with a buttonhole stitch.
- To accost and detain (a person) in conversation: “He was also frequently buttonholed by White House lobbyists” ( Terence Moran )
Origin of buttonholeV., sense 3, probably alteration of button-hold
(third-person singular simple present buttonholes, present participle buttonholing, simple past and past participle buttonholed)
Originally buttonhold (a loop of string to hold a button down), but changed by folk etymology by influence of hole; see the Wikipedia article on folk etymology