verb (used with object)
  1. to put into a small, close, or concealing place: Tuck the money into your wallet.
  2. to thrust in the loose end or edge of (a garment, covering, etc.) so as to hold closely in place (usually followed by in, up, under, etc.): Tuck in your blouse. Tuck the edge of the sheet under the mattress.
  3. to cover snugly in or as if in this manner: She tucked the children into bed.
  4. to pull up into a fold or folds; draw up into a folded arrangement (usually followed by in, up, etc.): to tuck up one's skirts; to tuck one's knees under one's chin.
  5. Needlework. to sew tucks in.
  6. to pass (a strand) above or below another one.
  7. Informal. to eat or drink (usually followed by in, away, etc.): He tucked away a big meal.
verb (used without object)
  1. to draw together; contract; pucker.
  2. Needlework. to make tucks.
  3. to fit securely or snugly: a bed that tucks into the corner.
  1. something tucked or folded in.
  2. Sewing. a fold, or one of a series of folds, made by doubling cloth upon itself and stitching parallel with the edge of the fold, used for decoration or for shortening or fitting a garment.
  3. Diving, Gymnastics. a body position in which the head is lowered and the thighs held against the chest with the knees bent and the arms locked around the shins.Compare layout(def 10), pike7.
  4. Skiing. a crouch in which the ski poles are held close to the chest, extending back under the arms and parallel to the ground, as to maximize speed downhill.
  5. Informal. a plastic surgery operation: a tummy tuck.
  6. Nautical. the part of a vessel where the after ends of the outside planking or plating unite at the sternpost.
  7. (in tying knots) the operation of passing one strand above or below another.
  8. British Slang. food.
Verb Phrases
  1. tuck into, to eat with gusto: We tucked into a roast beef dinner.

Origin of tuck

before 900; Middle English t(o)uken to stretch (cloth), torment, Old English tūcian to torment; akin to Middle Low German tucken to tug, German zucken to jerk. See tow1
Related formsun·tucked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for tuck into


  1. (tr) to push or fold into a small confined space or concealed place or between two surfacesto tuck a letter into an envelope
  2. (tr) to thrust the loose ends or sides of (something) into a confining space, so as to make neat and secureto tuck the sheets under the mattress
  3. to make a tuck or tucks in (a garment)
  4. (usually tr) to draw together, contract, or pucker
  1. a tucked object or part
  2. a pleat or fold in a part of a garment, usually stitched down so as to make it a better fit or as decoration
  3. the part of a vessel where the after ends of the planking or plating meet at the sternpost
  4. British
    1. an informal or schoolchild's word for food, esp cakes and sweets
    2. (as modifier)a tuck box
  5. a position of the body in certain dives in which the legs are bent with the knees drawn up against the chest and tightly clasped
See also tuck away, tuck in

Word Origin for tuck

C14: from Old English tūcian to torment; related to Middle Dutch tucken to tug, Old High German zucchen to twitch


  1. archaic a rapier

Word Origin for tuck

C16: from French estoc sword, from Old French: tree trunk, sword, of Germanic origin


  1. a touch, blow, or stroke
  1. (tr) to touch or strike
  2. (intr) to throb or bump

Word Origin for tuck

C16: from Middle English tukken to beat a drum, from Old Northern French toquer to touch; compare tucket


  1. See Friar Tuck
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 tuck into



late 14c., "to pull or gather up," earlier "to pluck, stretch" (late 13c., implied in tucker), probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch tucken "pull up, draw up, tug" (cognate with Old English tucian "mistreat, torment," and related to Old English togian "to pull," German zucken; see tow). Sense of "thrust into a snug place" is first recorded 1580s. Slang meaning "to consume, swallow" is recorded from 1784. The noun is first attested late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with tuck into

tuck into

Eat heartily or greedily, as in For a two-year-old he really tucked into his food. [Early 1800s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with tuck

  • tuck away
  • tuck in
  • tuck into

also see:

  • nip and tuck
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.