[buhk-ruh m]


a stiff cotton fabric for interlinings, book bindings, etc.
stiffness of manner; extreme preciseness or formality.

verb (used with object), buck·ramed, buck·ram·ing.

to strengthen with buckram.
Archaic. to give a false appearance of importance, value, or strength to.

Origin of buckram

1175–1225; Middle English bukeram < Middle High German buckeram or Old Italian bucherame, said to be named after Bukhara, once noted for textiles
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for buckram

Historical Examples of buckram

  • The use of buckram has been mostly abandoned by the libraries.

    A Book for All Readers

    Ainsworth Rand Spofford

  • I have peppered two of them: two I am sure I have paid, two rogues in buckram suits.

    Familiar Quotations

    John Bartlett

  • Dick was wont to declare that he hated the world in buckram.

    The Prime Minister

    Anthony Trollope

  • I have no hesitation in saying that the best material is Buckram.

    The Private Library

    Arthur L. Humphreys

  • Making frames for hats follows—the frames are of wire and buckram.

    The Canadian Girl at Work

    Marjory MacMurchy

British Dictionary definitions for buckram



  1. cotton or linen cloth stiffened with size, etc, used in lining or stiffening clothes, bookbinding, etc
  2. (as modifier)a buckram cover
archaic stiffness of manner

verb -rams, -raming or -ramed

(tr) to stiffen with buckram

Word Origin for buckram

C14: from Old French boquerant, from Old Provençal bocaran, ultimately from Bukhara, once an important source of textiles
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 buckram

early 13c., from Old French boquerant "fine oriental cloth" (12c., Modern French bougran), probably (along with Spanish bucarán, Italian bucherame) from Bukhara, city in central Asia from which it was imported to Europe. Originally a name of a delicate, costly fabric, it later came to mean coarse linen used for lining. The -m in the English word may indicate Italian origin (cf. Italian bucherame, 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper