American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See sycamore.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The plane-tree of the United States, Platanus occidentalis: so called from its small, round, pendulous fruits or nutlets. Also incorrectly called sycamore.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) See buttonwood.
- button + ball? (Wiktionary)
- From its button-shaped fruit. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Chatterji protested, as his hand moved uncertainly on the buttonball.”
“As Alec did so, he saw the buttonball that had been concealed just under the desk's surface.”
“He played with the buttonball and the figure's eyes got a bit smaller.”
“Somewhere here must be the buttonball where he'd enter the algorithm to take it through time.”
“Ellsworth-Howard worked the buttonball and the list grew abruptly shorter.”
“Ellsworth-Howard continued to frown at his screen, kneading the buttonball distractedly, ignoring the firemen as they hurriedly cleaned out the grate and relit the fire.”
“Ellsworth-Howard clenched the buttonball fiercely.”
“Though he seems to be physically quite active," said Chatterji, watching worriedly as Ellsworth-Howard worked the buttonball, attempting to break into Checkerfield's cyberenvironment.”
“Where's that bloody squishyball, ye lubbers?" he said in his best pirate voice, and caught up the buttonball and began to squeeze in commands, tentatively at first and then faster.”
“Ellsworth-Howard kneaded the buttonball and the image of a four-stranded DNA helix appeared on the screen.”
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