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[uhn-buht-n] /ʌnˈbʌt n/
verb (used with object)
to free (buttons) from buttonholes; unfasten or undo.
to unfasten by or as if by unbuttoning:
to unbutton a jacket.
to disclose (one's feelings, thoughts, etc.) after deliberate or prolonged silence.
verb (used without object)
to unfasten a button or one's buttons.
Origin of unbutton
1275-1325; Middle English unbotenen. See un-2, button Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unbutton
  • And wear a shirt underneath that is presentable in case it gets beastly hot and you want to unbutton your jacket.
  • Then in meetings, you absentmindedly button and unbutton them.
  • They also felt enough confidence to unbutton and reproduce.
  • Some moms use pullover tops, shirts that can unbutton from the bottom, or blankets that cover them.
  • He did not try to do anything else, and did not really touch her anywhere, except that he tried to unbutton her pants.
  • She noted that he did not attempt to unbutton or take off her pants.
  • Furthermore, he began to unbutton her shirt and pulldown her undershirt.
British Dictionary definitions for unbutton


to undo by unfastening (the buttons) of (a garment)
(informal) to release or relax (oneself, tension, etc)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unbutton

early 14c., from un- (2) "opposite of" + button (v.). Related: Unbuttoned; unbuttoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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