1. A knob; a small ball; a small, roundish mass.
2. A catch, of various forms and materials, used to fasten together the different parts of dress, by being attached to one part, and passing through a slit, called a buttonhole, in the other; used also for ornament.
3. A bud; a germ of a plant.
4. A piece of wood or metal, usually flat and elongated, turning on a nail or screw, to fasten something, as a door.
5. A globule of metal remaining onan assay cupel or in a crucible, after fusion. Button hook, a hook for catching a button and drawing it through a buttonhole, as in buttoning boots and gloves.
(Science: zoology) button shell, a small, univalve marine shell of the genus Rotella. Button snakeroot.
(Science: botany) a genus of trees (Conocarpus), furnishing durable timber, mostly natives of the west indies. To hold by the button, to detain in conversation to weariness; to bore; to buttonhole.
Origin: oe. Boton, botoun, f. Bouton button, bud, prop. Something pushing out, fr. Bouter to push. See butt an end.