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buckle

[buhk-uh l]
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noun
  1. 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.
  2. any similar contrivance used for such purposes.
  3. an ornament of metal, beads, etc., of similar appearance.
  4. a bend, bulge, or kink, as in a board or saw blade.
verb (used with object), buck·led, buck·ling.
  1. to fasten with a buckle or buckles: Buckle your seat belt.
  2. to shrivel, by applying heat or pressure; bend; curl.
  3. to prepare (oneself) for action; apply (oneself) vigorously to something.
  4. to bend, warp, or cause to give way suddenly, as with heat or pressure.
verb (used without object), buck·led, buck·ling.
  1. to close or fasten with a buckle: Grandmother always wore shoes that buckled.
  2. to prepare oneself or apply oneself: The student buckled to the lesson.
  3. to bend, warp, bulge, or collapse: The bridge buckled in the storm.
  4. 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.
Verb Phrases
  1. 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.
  2. 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

1300–50; Middle English bocle < Anglo-French bo(u)cle, bucle < Latin buc(c)ula cheekpiece (of a helmet), strip of wood, etc., resembling a cheekpiece, equivalent to bucc(a) cheek + -ula -ule
Related formsbuck·le·less, adjectivere·buck·le, verb, re·buck·led, re·buck·ling.

Synonyms

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8. sag, bulge, twist; crumple, collapse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for buckling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He could see them buckling on belts while they were riding with the reins in their teeth.

  • 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

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Stan was so chilled he had to hang on to the arm of the sailor to keep his knees from buckling.

  • This causes expansion and consequent distortion and buckling.


British Dictionary definitions for buckling

buckling

noun
  1. another name for a bloater

Word Origin

C20: from German Bückling

buckle

noun
  1. a clasp for fastening together two loose ends, esp of a belt or strap, usually consisting of a frame with an attached movable prong
  2. an ornamental representation of a buckle, as on a shoe
  3. a kink, bulge, or other distortiona buckle in a railway track
verb
  1. to fasten or be fastened with a buckle
  2. to bend or cause to bend out of shape, esp as a result of pressure or heat

Word Origin

C14: from Old French bocle, from Latin buccula a little cheek, hence, cheek strap of a helmet, from bucca cheek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for buckling

buckle

n.

"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]

buckle

v.2

"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.

buckle

v.1

late 14c., bokelen, "to fasten with a buckle," from buckle (n.). Related: Buckled; buckling. To buckle down "apply effort, settle down," (1874) is said to be a variant of knuckle down (see knuckle).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper