buckle down

B - K

buckle down


knuckle down;
buckle to


  • make sure something stays in place
  • giving a task a hundred percent
  • to focus
  • determination to finish a task
  • to settle
  • trying hard

Example Sentences

  1. She knew if she didn’t buckle down, the tasks wouldn’t get done.
  2. He had a test first thing in the morning, so he buckled down for an all-nighter. 
  3. It’s unlikely they will buckle down since they are incredibly flighty. 
  4. When she decides to buckle down, no one can break her concentration. 
  5. After several hours the toddler finally buckled down and went to sleep. 
  6. If we are going to complete this task, it’s necessary to knuckle down
  7. If a storm is on the horizon, we need to buckle down the sails.
  8. Without buckling down, nothing will be accomplished.
  9. I don’t think he will buckle down since he wants to go outside and play. 
  10. I asked him to buckle down and complete his homework, but he is still playing video games. 
  11. When the teacher asked her students to buckle down, they just laughed and continued talking.
  12. The manager became frustrated during the meeting and asked his colleagues to buckle down.


An earlier version of this phrase is “buckle to” – used by British people during the sixteenth century. In The Law Is A Bottomless Pit, John Bull wrote, “Squire South buckled too, to assist his friend Nic.”

The idioms knuckle down and buckle down can be used for the same things. Knuckle down started in the 1860s when kids played marbles. They held a shooter marble in their first with the knuckles on the ground so he could flick the marble easily. Since a large portion of the game is about concentration, it’s easy to see the evolution of the idiom.

Some people believe the idiom buckle down started because it’s analogous to tightening your belt. In 1865, Atlantic Monthly first used the phrase buckle down in an article, “if he would only buckle down to serious study.”

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