See also: Buckle


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Etymology 1Edit

From a frequentative form of buck (to bend, buckle), of Dutch Low Saxon or German Low German origin, related to Dutch bukken (to stoop, bend, yield, submit), German bücken (to stoop, bend), Swedish bocka (to buck, bow), equivalent to buck +‎ -le. Compare Middle Dutch buchelen (to strive, tug under a load), dialectal German aufbückeln (to raise or arch the back).


buckle (third-person singular simple present buckles, present participle buckling, simple past and past participle buckled)

  1. (intransitive) To distort or collapse under physical pressure; especially, of a slender structure in compression.
    • 2012 October 31, David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, retrieved 31 October 2012:
      Perhaps as startling as the sheer toll was the devastation to some of the state’s well-known locales. Boardwalks along the beach in Seaside Heights, Belmar and other towns on the Jersey Shore were blown away. Amusement parks, arcades and restaurants all but vanished. Bridges to barrier islands buckled, preventing residents from even inspecting the damage to their property.
  2. (transitive) To make bend; to cause to become distorted.
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To give in; to react suddenly or adversely to stress or pressure (of a person).
    It is amazing that he has never buckled after so many years of doing such urgent work.
  4. (intransitive) To yield; to give way; to cease opposing.
    • 1664, Samuel Pepys, diary entry December 15:
      The Dutch, as high as they seem, do begin to buckle.
  5. (obsolete, intransitive) To enter upon some labour or contest; to join in close fight; to contend.
  6. To buckle down; to apply oneself.
    • 1700, Isaac Barrow, Of Industry in our particular Calling, as Scholars:
      To make our sturdy humour buckle thereto.
    • December 6, 1838, James David Forbes, letter to J. T. Harrison, Esq.
      Before buckling to my winter's work.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, James Nichols, editor, The Church History of Britain, [], new edition, volume (please specify |volume=I to III), London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, →OCLC:
      Cartwright buckled himself to the employment.

Etymology 2Edit

A buckle (clasp for fastening).

From Middle English bokel (spiked metal ring for holding a belt, etc), from Old French boucle, bocle ("boss (of a shield)" then "shield," later "buckle, metal ring), from Latin buccula (cheek strap of a helmet), diminutive of bucca (cheek).


buckle (plural buckles)

  1. (countable) A clasp used for fastening two things together, such as the ends of a belt, or for retaining the end of a strap.
  2. (Canada, heraldry) The brisure of an eighth daughter.
  3. (roofing) An upward, elongated displacement of a roof membrane frequently occurring over insulation or deck joints. A buckle may be an indication of movement with the roof assembly.
  4. A distortion, bulge, bend, or kink, as in a saw blade or a plate of sheet metal[1].
  5. A curl of hair, especially a kind of crisp curl formerly worn; also, the state of being curled.
  6. A contorted expression, as of the face.
    • 1763, Charles Churchill, The Ghost
      'Gainst nature arm'd by gravity, / His features too in buckle see.
  7. (US, baking) A cake baked with fresh fruit and a streusel topping.


buckle (third-person singular simple present buckles, present participle buckling, simple past and past participle buckled)

  1. (transitive) To fasten using a buckle.
  2. (Scotland) To unite in marriage.

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 1874, Edward H. Knight, American Mechanical Dictionary