AskDefine | Define buckle

Dictionary Definition



1 fastener that fastens together two ends of a belt or strap; often has loose prong
2 a shape distorted by twisting or folding [syn: warp]


1 fasten with a buckle or buckles [syn: clasp] [ant: unbuckle]
2 fold or collapse; "His knees buckled" [syn: crumple]
3 bend out of shape, as under pressure or from heat; "The highway buckled during the heatwave" [syn: heave, warp]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. A clasp used for fastening two things together, such as the ends of a belt, or for retaining the end of a strap.
  2. In the context of "Canadian|heraldry": The brisure of an eighth daughter.


a clasp for fastening
  • Dutch: gesp
  • Finnish: solki
  • French: boucle
  • German: Schnalle
  • Ido: buklo
  • Korean: 솔기 (solgi), 버클 (beokeul) (loanword)
  • Portuguese: fivela
  • Spanish: hebilla


  1. To fasten using a buckle.
  2. To distort or collapse under physical pressure; especially, of a slender structure in compression.
  3. In the context of "intransitive|figurative": 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.


to fasten
  • French: boucler
  • Korean: 쭈그리다 (jjugeurida)
  • Portuguese: afivelar

Extensive Definition

For the store, see The Buckle.
For the failure mode, see Buckling.
For the English historian, see Henry Thomas Buckle.
For the comic strip, see Buckles.
For the dessert, see Cobbler (food).
See also buccal.
A buckle (from Latin buccula) is a clasp used for fastening two things together, such as the ends of a belt, or for retaining the end of a strap. Before the invention of the zipper, buckles were commonly used to fasten boots and other shoes.


Buckles were used in ancient Greece and Rome, particularly in military equipment and military dress: on (sword)belts, armour, all sorts of equipment strapping, and on horse gear. The word "buckle" stems from the vulgar Latin buccula - meaning "little mouth" - because of the shape. Buckles were also commonly used in the Celtic civilisation. In antiquity, buckles were commonly made of metal, bone and ivory. Because of the simplicity and durability of the buckle, it became popular in harnesses and embroidery, especially in shoes and boots. It was commonly used as a typical clasp for clothing until the zipper was invented.
The roller buckle is a mid-20th century invention; buckles with multiple prongs had already appeared in the 18th century

Contemporary Uses

Today, the buckle is most commonly used for belts, although it is still used in shoes and particularly boots. Tanker boots employ the use of buckles because of the disadvantages of laces.
Buckles can also be seen on backpacks, watches and other wrist jewelry, or for ornamental purposes on other various objects. Buckles are also commonly seen in modern gothic fashion.
A buckle can refer to a seat belt or safety belt, as in the term, "buckle up." This originally military phrase from the cavalry refers to strapping the saddle to a riding horse, which means "get ready for departure".
In Canadian heraldry, a buckle is the brisure of an eighth daughter.
buckle in Spanish: Hebilla
buckle in German: Schnalle
buckle in Scottish Gaelic: Bucall
buckle in Italian: Fibbia
buckle in Russian: Пряжка
buckle in Swedish: Spänne

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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