button up

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button up (third-person singular simple present buttons up, present participle buttoning up, simple past and past participle buttoned up)

  1. (transitive) To fasten with a button or buttons.
    Button up your shirt cuff. It has come undone
  2. (intransitive) To fasten all the buttons on a coat, or similar item of clothing, to keep warm.
    Button up well. It's freezing outside today.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) to conclude; to finalize; to put the finishing touches (on)
    It's time to button up the meeting.
  4. Alternative form of button up one's lip.
    He needs to button up.
  5. (US, military, slang, transitive, ergative) To seal off (a military vehicle or facility).
    • 1996, Airman, volume 40, page 6:
      Once buttoned up, NORAD's operation center can survive for more than 30 days without aid from the outside world.
    • 1997, “Statement of S/Sgt. Alfred Sueflow, Company E, 253rd Infantry”, in Battle Between the Jagst and Kocher Rivers, 4-12 April 1945[1], page 136:
      We fired at the tanks and caused them to "button up" and then we started shooting the infantry.
    • 2000, Bonnie Ramthun, Ground Zero, page 6:
      He turned a key. NORAD buttoned up. The outside lights, flashing for half an hour now in warning of a simulated attack, stopped. Whoever was inside would stay inside. Whoever was outside would not be able to get in []

Usage notes

  • The object in 1 can come before or after the particle. If it is a pronoun, then it must come before the particle.