To confine or accost someone in or with conversation. Likened to holding onto someone by the lapels (on which the buttonhole used for a boutonniere is located). I tried to leave the office early, but Larry buttonholed me with a tedious conversation about weekend plans.
See also: buttonhole
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Accost or detain a person in conversation. For example, The reporter tried to buttonhole the senator, but she got away. This term is a metaphor for literally grasping someone by a buttonhole on his or her clothing. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
tv. to accost someone; to make someone listen to one. (As if grabbing someone by the coat lapel to keep them from getting away.) The guy buttonholed me on my way out, and started asking me a lot of questions.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
- accompany (one) on a/(one's) journey
- accompany on a journey
- a stranger to (someone or something)
- be out of (one's) league
- be out of somebody's league
- be in bad with (someone)
- (one) puts (one's) pants on one leg at a time
- bargain for (someone or something) with (someone)
- brief (someone) about (someone or something)