from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An evergreen shrub or tree (Conocarpus erectus) of coastal wetlands of tropical America and western Africa, having alternate leathery leaves and small buttonlike heads of greenish flowers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A common name in the West Indies of a low combreta-ceous tree, Conocarpus erecta, with very heavy, hard, and compact wood.
  • noun See buttonball.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) The Platanus occidentalis, or American plane tree, a large tree, producing rough balls, from which it is named; -- called also buttonball tree, and, in some parts of the United States, sycamore. The California buttonwood is Platanus racemosa.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The common name given to at least three species of shrub or tree.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun very large spreading plane tree of eastern and central North America to Mexico


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

button +‎ wood


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word buttonwood.


  • This name, as well as sycamore, is given, among us, to the large tree commonly called the buttonwood; but the tree here mentioned is different.

    Barnes New Testament Notes

  • The Big Board's roots as an icon of American capitalism go back to 1792, when traders signed an agreement under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street.

    Feds Sink Nasdaq's Bid to Buy Big Board

  • That was when two dozen brokers met under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street where they had been trading securities outdoors to form what became the NYSE.

    Exporting Wall Street

  • From its beginnings under a buttonwood tree, "Wall Street" has become a metaphor for global capitalism beyond its original physical address.

    Exporting Wall Street

  • The beginnings of the New York Stock Exchange can be traced back to 1792, when brokers and merchants gathered under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street to sign the Buttonwood Agreement to trade securities on a commission basis.

    NYSE Trading Floor Over the Years

  • Fresh-caught snook fillets, slow-grilled over a smoky buttonwood fire (the wood is key).

    The Best Camp Dinner Ever

  • On May 17, 1792, after years of shouting out on the street, a group of 24 prominent brokers met under a buttonwood tree at what is now 68 Wall Street and decided to move indoors, so to speak.

    Make Way for the Virtual Exchange

  • According to lore, New York stock trading can be traced to 1792, when traders signed an agreement under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street.

    Germans in Talks to Buy Big Board

  • Insider trading has been around for more than two centuries, since the New York Stock Exchange was founded under a buttonwood tree in lower Manhattan.

    How an SEC Crackdown Led to Rise of 'Expert Networks'

  • It will happen steps from where George Washington took the presidential oath of office at Downtown's original Federal Hall, and steps from where the seat of capitalism, the New York Stock Exchange, was founded by a group of brokers in 1792 who met under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street.

    Julie Menin: Downtown Dispatch: Fear and Anxiety Grip Lower Manhattan as It Braces for the Terror Trials


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  • from Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, probably meaning sycamore

    July 19, 2009