push (one's) buttons

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push (one's) buttons

1. To do things that create a very strong emotional reaction in one, especially anger, irritation, or exasperation. I hate Dave's new boyfriend, he's always trying to push my buttons, and he's doing a good job of it! No one will be able to push your buttons like your children, but it's all a part of the adventure of parenthood.
2. To be sexually attractive or arousing to one. A guy who knows how to cook really pushes my buttons.
See also: button, push

push someone's buttons

Also, press someone's buttons. Draw a strong emotional reaction from someone, especially anger or sexual arousal. For example, My mother-in-law really knew how to push my buttons, or A good-looking redhead, she always seemed to press his buttons. This metaphoric expression transfers activating some mechanism by pushing buttons to human emotions. [Slang; 1920s]
See also: button, push

push (or press) someone's buttons

be successful in arousing or provoking a reaction in someone. informal
See also: button, push

ˌpush somebody’s ˈbuttons

(also ˌpress somebody’s ˈbuttons especially in British English ) (informal) make somebody react, especially in an angry or excited way: I almost never lose my temper, but this guy can really push my buttons.I’ve known him for years, but I still don’t really know what pushes his buttons.
See also: button, push
References in periodicals archive ?
Since this is an isolated location, work orders have been released to add pedestrian push buttons and traffic sensors so that the signals can operate closer to actual traffic demands, Gallagher said.
DeviceNet is an open communications network designed to connect factory floor devices, such as sensors, push buttons, motor starters and drives, to control systems.
Together with the IIPE's intelligent processing, the push buttons provide a true, single-touch solution for any required scanner output.
Tenders are invited for Supply of Push Buttons,Relays : Actuator with standard flush button(red), actuator,standard flush button(green), push buttons (red) with mushroom head, push button contact element 1no+1nc, bhc o/l relay,0.
Tenders are invited for Supply, Fixing And Testing Set Of Item Suitable Control Card And Push Buttons To Vvvf Drive Model No: A1000-139A Duly Replacing Of Defective Control Cord, Push Buttons.
Users can display bitmaps, fonts and elegant GUI objects including push buttons, scroll bars and listboxes.
The solid state potentiometers -- called PushPots -- can be located anywhere in a circuit and remotely operated by push buttons, eliminating the need for shafts, knobs and access ports typically required by mechanical potentiometers.
Tenders are invited for Pedestrian Push Buttons And Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS)