- 1 a small round piece of metal, plastic, etc. that is sewn onto a piece of clothing and used for fastening two parts together (British English) to do up/undo your buttons (North American English) to button/unbutton your buttons to sew on a button shirt buttons a row of gilt buttons See related entries: Parts of clothing
- 2 a small part of a machine that you press to make it work the play/stop/rewind button Adam pressed a button and waited for the lift. Choose ‘printer’ from the menu and click with the right mouse button. The windows slide down at the touch of a button. see also push-button See related entries: How machines work
- 3a small area on a computer screen that you click on to make it do something Click on the back button to go back to the previous screen.
- 4(especially North American English) a badge, especially one with a message printed on it He wore a button saying ‘Life begins at 40!’ see also belly button Word Origin Middle English: from Old French bouton, of Germanic origin and related to the verb butt.Extra examples He carries around an old backpack with peace buttons on it. My coat has lost a button. She hit the alarm button as fast as she could. She wore a ‘Vote Yes’ lapel button. The candidates all distributed campaign buttons and bumper stickers. The remote control allows you to change channel at the touch of a button. The top button of his shirt was undone. There was a button missing from his shirt. They all wore buttons saying ‘Stop the war’. Adam pressed a button and waited for the doors to open. His fingers fumbled to do up/button the small buttons on his shirt. I need to sew this button back on. The windows slide down at the touch of a button. the play/stop/rewind button to button/unbutton your buttons to do up/undo your buttonsIdioms (British English, informal) intelligent and quick to understand More Like ThisSimiles in idioms (as) bald as a coot, (as) blind as a bat, (as) bright as a button, (as) bold as brass, as busy as a bee, as clean as a whistle, (as) dead as a/the dodo, (as) deaf as a post, (as) dull as ditchwater, (as) fit as a fiddle, as flat as a pancake, (as) good as gold, (as) mad as a hatter/a March hare, (as) miserable/ugly as sin, as old as the hills, (as) pleased as Punch, as pretty as a picture, (as) regular as clockwork, (as) quick as a flash, (as) safe as houses, (as) sound as a bell, (as) steady as a rock, (as) thick as two short planks, (as) tough as old bootsSee worksheet.
- 1at exactly the right time or at the exact time mentioned We arrived at 4 o'clock on the button.
- 2exactly right You're on the button there!
(informal) to do exactly the right things to please somebody a new satirical comedy show that pushes all the right buttons
(informal) to make somebody react in either a positive or a negative way I've known him for years, but I still don't know what pushes his buttons.