- a clasp consisting of a rectangular or curved rim with one or more movable tongues, fixed to one end of a belt or strap, used for fastening to the other end of the same strap or to another strap.
- any similar contrivance used for such purposes.
- an ornament of metal, beads, etc., of similar appearance.
- a bend, bulge, or kink, as in a board or saw blade.
- to fasten with a buckle or buckles: Buckle your seat belt.
- to shrivel, by applying heat or pressure; bend; curl.
- to prepare (oneself) for action; apply (oneself) vigorously to something.
- to bend, warp, or cause to give way suddenly, as with heat or pressure.
- to close or fasten with a buckle: Grandmother always wore shoes that buckled.
- to prepare oneself or apply oneself: The student buckled to the lesson.
- to bend, warp, bulge, or collapse: The bridge buckled in the storm.
- to yield, surrender, or give way to another (often followed by under): She refused to take the medicine, but buckled under when the doctor told her to.
- buckle down, to set to work with vigor; concentrate on one's work: He was by nature a daydreamer and found it hard to buckle down.
- buckle up, to fasten one's belt, seat belt, or buckles: She won't start the car until we've all buckled up.
Origin of buckle
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for buckling
Some days, she felt as though glaciers were buckling around her and a crevasse yawned beneath her.Breaking Mount Everest’s Glass Ceiling
Amanda Padoan, Peter Zuckerman
March 30, 2014
As the war in Syria enters its third year, aid groups are buckling under the mounting need for food and medicine.Syria’s Israeli Guardian Angel
January 31, 2014
Even though PLO diplomats have a history of buckling under pressure at the UN, they are less likely to back down now.The PA's Pitiable Strategy
July 12, 2012
Buckling down to tie-up loose ends is key to lightening your mental load.The Stars Predict Your Week
Starsky + Cox
October 9, 2011
And yet, a decade into a new century, this old architecture is buckling under the weight of new threats.Obama's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
December 10, 2009
He could see them buckling on belts while they were riding with the reins in their teeth.Way of the Lawless
He patted the Thor gun which the instructor was buckling to his waist.Be It Ever Thus
Robert Moore Williams
He completed his toilet by buckling on his belt and revolver.The Night Riders
Stan was so chilled he had to hang on to the arm of the sailor to keep his knees from buckling.A Yankee Flier Over Berlin
This causes expansion and consequent distortion and buckling.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
- another name for a bloater
- a clasp for fastening together two loose ends, esp of a belt or strap, usually consisting of a frame with an attached movable prong
- an ornamental representation of a buckle, as on a shoe
- a kink, bulge, or other distortiona buckle in a railway track
- to fasten or be fastened with a buckle
- to bend or cause to bend out of shape, esp as a result of pressure or heat
Word Origin and History for buckling
"spiked metal ring for holding a belt, etc., c.1300, bukel, from Old French bocle "boss (of a shield)," then "shield," then by further extension "buckle, metal ring," (12c., Modern French boucle), from Latin buccula "cheek strap of a helmet," in Late Latin "boss of a shield," diminutive of bucca "cheek" (see bouche).
Boucle in the middle ages had the double sense of a "shield's boss" and "a ring"; the last sense has alone survived, and it metaph. developed in the boucle de cheveux, ringlets. [Kitchin]
"distort, warp, bend out of shape" 1520s, bokelen "to arch the body," from Middle French boucler "to bulge," from Old French bocler "to bulge," from bocle "boss of a shield" (see buckle (n.)). Meaning "bend under strong pressure" is from 1590s (figurative from 1640s) . Related: Buckled; buckling.