Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Buckle


English Wikipedia has an article on:


Etymology 1[edit]

From a frequentative form of buck (to bend, buckle), of Dutch Low Saxon or German Low German origin, related to Dutch bukken (to stoop, bend, yield, submit), German bücken (to stoop, bend), Swedish bocka (to buck, bow), equivalent to buck +‎ -le. Compare Middle Dutch buchelen (to strive, tug under a load), German dialectal aufbückeln (to raise or arch the back).


buckle (third-person singular simple present buckles, present participle buckling, simple past and past participle buckled)

  1. (intransitive) To distort or collapse under physical pressure; especially, of a slender structure in compression.
    • 2012 October 31, David M. Halbfinger, "[1]," New York Times (retrieved 31 October 2012):
      Perhaps as startling as the sheer toll was the devastation to some of the state’s well-known locales. Boardwalks along the beach in Seaside Heights, Belmar and other towns on the Jersey Shore were blown away. Amusement parks, arcades and restaurants all but vanished. Bridges to barrier islands buckled, preventing residents from even inspecting the damage to their property.
  2. (transitive) To make bend; to cause to become distorted.
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To give in; to react suddenly or adversely to stress or pressure (of a person).
    It is amazing that he has never buckled after so many years of doing such urgent work.
  4. (intransitive) To yield; to give way; to cease opposing.
    • Samuel Pepys
      The Dutch, as high as they seem, do begin to buckle.
  5. (obsolete, intransitive) To enter upon some labour or contest; to join in close fight; to contend.
    • Latimer
      The bishop was as able and ready to buckle with the Lord Protector as he was with him.
    • Shakespeare
      In single combat thou shalt buckle with me.
  6. To buckle down; to apply oneself.
    • Barrow
      To make our sturdy humour buckle thereto.
    • J. D. Forbes
      Before buckling to my winter's work.
    • Fuller
      Cartwright buckled himself to the employment.

Etymology 2[edit]

A buckle (clasp for fastening).

From Middle English bukel (spiked metal ring for holding a belt, etc), borrowed from Old French boucle, bocle ("boss (of a shield)" then "shield," later "buckle, metal ring), from Latin buccula (cheek strap of a helmet), diminutive of bucca (cheek).


buckle (plural buckles)

  1. (countable) A clasp used for fastening two things together, such as the ends of a belt, or for retaining the end of a strap.
  2. (Canada, heraldry) The brisure of an eighth daughter.
  3. (roofing) An upward, elongated displacement of a roof membrane frequently occurring over insulation or deck joints. A buckle may be an indication of movement with the roof assembly.
  4. A distortion, bulge, bend, or kink, as in a saw blade or a plate of sheet metal.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  5. A curl of hair, especially a kind of crisp curl formerly worn; also, the state of being curled.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Washington Irving
      earlocks in tight buckles on each side of a lantern face
    • (Can we date this quote?) Addison
      lets his wig lie in buckle for a whole half year
  6. A contorted expression, as of the face.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Churchill
      'Gainst nature armed by gravity, / His features too in buckle see.


buckle (third-person singular simple present buckles, present participle buckling, simple past and past participle buckled)

  1. (transitive) To fasten using a buckle.
  2. (Scotland) To unite in marriage.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)

See also[edit]