Word of the Day: buckle

Word of the Day
May 24, 2016
buckle (noun, verb)
/ˈbʌkəl/  sound icon
 
A belt buckle
A buckle is a rectangular flat clasp fixed to the end of a belt or strap and used for fastening, or connecting, the two ends of it together. It is also any similarly shaped object used for decoration. As a verb, buckle means 'to fasten, or close, with a buckle' and also 'to bend the body because of fatigue.' It also means 'to bend by applying heat or pressure' and, figuratively, it means 'to collapse due to stress.' It can also mean 'to apply yourself to something with energy or vigor.'

 

Example sentences
 
The buckle on my belt broke. I'll have to get a new one.
The woman wore a decorative buckle on her cloak.
The student put her books in her bag and buckled the straps.
The bridge eventually buckled because of the weight of cars passing over it every day.
The weight of the roof buckled the pillars.
James had been working too hard for months and he finally buckled.
The workers all buckled to the task.

 

Words often used with buckle
 
buckle up: put your seatbelt on. Example: "OK, everyone's in the car; now let's buckle up and hit the road!" In reference to a person, buckle up can also mean 'to bend the body, normally because of pain or laughter.' Example: "The comedian was so funny that everyone in the audience was buckled up laughing!"
 
Multi-word forms
 
buckle down: start making an effort. Example: "Our exams are next week and we haven't prepared; we really need to buckle down and do some work!"
buckle under: give way to pressure. Example: "I tried to protest against the changes at work, but the bosses were determined and I finally buckled under."
 
Did you know?
 
Buckle is used to refer to applying yourself to a task or making an effort because originally it meant 'to prepare for battle,' by association with fastening armor.
 
Other forms
 
buckleless (adjective)
 
Origin
 
Buckle dates back to the first half of the 14th century and comes from the Latin word buc(c)ula, meaning 'cheekpiece (of a helmet)' or 'a strip of wood, etc., resembling a cheekpiece,' which came from the word bucc(a), meaning 'cheek' + -ula -ule, and the Anglo-French word bo(u)cle or bucle, as well as the Middle English word bocle.
 
 
 
 
 
Buckle in other languages
 
 
 
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