cute as a button

Also found in: Acronyms.

(as) cute as a button

Pleasing in appearance or temperament. Most often said of children. Your little girl is as cute as a button in that frilly dress. Katie has such a sweet and charming disposition—she's as cute as a button. Did you see those kids singing Christmas carols? They are cute as a button, every last one of them.
See also: button, cute
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cute as a button

Also, cute as a bug's ear. Pretty or attractive in a dainty way, as in That baby is cute as a button. Cute originally was a shortening of acute, for "sharp-witted and clever," but in the early 1800s it also took on its current meaning. Other than that buttons and bug's hearing organs can be small, there is no good explanation for these similes.
See also: button, cute
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.

(as) cute as a ˈbutton

(American English) (usually used about a baby or a child, or somebody/something small) very attractive and charming: Kate is four, and as cute as a button!
See also: button, cute
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cute as a button

Daintily attractive. The word “cute” dates from the seventeenth century. It was originally an abbreviation of acute and had the same meaning: clever, shrewd, ingenious. In America, however, it came to be applied to attractive persons or things, those with an appearance of dainty charm rather than outright beauty. A button is small and round; so are some cute objects. For some reason this simile took hold in the early twentieth century. The synonym cute as a bug’s ear similarly alludes to something very small—and in fact nonexistent (bugs don’t have ears).
See also: button, cute
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
LOVELY Gamu Nhengu - cute as a button and so cruelly turfed off the X Factor by tearful Cheryl Cole - might be begging Simon Cowell to help her.
Heroes star Hayden Panettiere looks cute as a button in this figure-hugging cocktail dress.
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Last Saturday that voice was beaten in the final by Leon, who is as cute as a button but no match for the magnificent Rhydian, who sings like a Welsh angel.
Oh, and she's cute as a button. Yes, that's a little bit sexist but Katherine te ne ens plays on her good looks - and anyway, she brightens up the Ultimate Ulster sausage party we'd be left with in her absence.
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