buck up

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buck up

  1. (idiomatic) Cheer up; take courage; take heart.
  2. (idiomatic, dated) Hurry up; make haste.


buck up (third-person singular simple present bucks up, present participle bucking up, simple past and past participle bucked up)

  1. (idiomatic, intransitive) To become encouraged, reinvigorated, or cheerful; to summon one's courage or spirits; to pluck up courage.
    I realized I needed to buck up and tackle the problem head-on.
  2. (idiomatic, transitive) To encourage; to hearten.
    I knew I had to try and buck up the rest of my team as well.
  3. (idiomatic, intransitive, dated, early 1900's) To dress oneself up smartly; compare (obsolete) buck ("a fop, dandy")
  4. (idiomatic, transitive, colloquial) To pass on to higher authority for resolution. See also pass the buck.
    He started bucking up everything to management when he didn't get a raise.
    He just bucked everything risky up to management.
    Instead of dealing with the customer's complaint himself, he just bucked it up to his boss.
  5. (obsolete) To hurry up.
    • 1907, Barbara Baynton, Sally Krimmer; Alan Lawson, editors, Human Toll (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), published 1980, page 141:
      'Now' said Cameron, 'we must buck up; it's getting late. Now about the child, Boshy: she must come with us, you see.'

Usage notes[edit]

  • In the transitive senses 2, 4 the object may appear before or after the particle. If the object is a pronoun, then it must be before the particle.