- 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
- 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 buckle up
"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.
Idioms and Phrases with buckle up
Fasten a seat belt, as in All the children must learn to buckle up as soon as they get in a car. This term came into wide use in the second half of the 1900s, when seat belts became mandatory automobile equipment. Earlier they had been used mainly in airplanes.