[ tuhk ]
See synonyms for tuck on Thesaurus.com
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.

  1. to cover snugly in or as if in this manner: She tucked the children into bed.

  2. 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.

  3. Needlework. to sew tucks in.

  4. to pass (a strand) above or below another one.

  5. 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.

  1. to fit securely or snugly: a bed that tucks into the corner.

  2. to secure one's penis between one's legs so that the crotch is flat, often done by gender-diverse people as part of their gender expression: When I'm performing, I usually tuck, because it makes me feel more confident.

  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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Informal. a plastic surgery operation: a tummy tuck.

  4. Nautical. the part of a vessel where the after ends of the outside planking or plating unite at the sternpost.

  5. (in tying knots) the operation of passing one strand above or below another.

  6. British Slang. food.

Verb Phrases
  1. tuck into, to eat with gusto: We tucked into a roast beef dinner.

Origin of tuck

First recorded 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

Other words from tuck

  • un·tucked, adjective

Other definitions for tuck (2 of 4)

[ tuhk ]


Origin of tuck

By shortening and respelling

Other definitions for tuck (3 of 4)

[ tuhk ]

  1. a rapier, estoc, or other thrusting sword.

Origin of tuck

First recorded in 1500–10; earlier tocke, apparently phonetic variant of obsolete stock “sword,” from Italian stocco, from German Stock “stick”; cognate with stock

Other definitions for tuck (4 of 4)

[ tuhk ]

nounChiefly Scot.
  1. a drumbeat or the sound of one beat on a drum.

Origin of tuck

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English tukken “to beat, sound (said of a drum),” from Middle French (north) toker “to strike, touch”; see touch

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tuck in a sentence

  • Ut arbitror in the right margin seems exactly the thing that an author tucks in when revising and qualifying his work.

  • I am finishing this letter while Genevra sings to the children their good-night songs and tucks them into their beds.

    Italian Days and Ways | Anne Hollingsworth Wharton
  • The buyer tucks the sticky stuff up in the corner of her garment and ties it carefully into a knot before starting homeward.

  • Most of these men were armed with long tucks, as the straight stabbing swords, much used by Cromwell's soldiery, were then called.

    Peveril of the Peak | Sir Walter Scott

British Dictionary definitions for tuck (1 of 4)


/ (tʌk) /

  1. (tr) to push or fold into a small confined space or concealed place or between two surfaces: to 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 secure: to tuck the sheets under the mattress

  1. to make a tuck or tucks in (a garment)

  2. (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

  1. the part of a vessel where the after ends of the planking or plating meet at the sternpost

  2. British

    • an informal or schoolchild's word for food, esp cakes and sweets

    • (as modifier): a tuck box

  3. 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

Origin of tuck

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

British Dictionary definitions for tuck (2 of 4)


/ (tʌk) /

  1. archaic a rapier

Origin of tuck

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

British Dictionary definitions for tuck (3 of 4)


/ (tʌk) dialect /

  1. a touch, blow, or stroke

  1. (tr) to touch or strike

  2. (intr) to throb or bump

Origin of tuck

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

British Dictionary definitions for Tuck (4 of 4)


/ (tʌk) /


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

Other Idioms and Phrases with tuck


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.