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1. To collapse or fall apart, as of a structure or object. In this usage, the cause of the collapse can be stated after "under." Three people sitting on the chair at the same time caused it to buckle under. That rickety old roof buckled under the weight of the snow.
2. To succumb to pressure or stress. In this usage, the cause of the collapse is usually stated after "under." Karen buckled under the stress of being student council president and resigned from her post.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
buckle under something
to collapse under or from the weight of something. The bridge buckled under the weight of the truck and collapsed. The table finally buckled under.
1. Lit. [for something] to collapse. With heavy trucks on it, the bridge buckled under. The table buckled under.
2. Fig. [for someone] to collapse or give in under the burden of heavy demands or great anxiety. With so much to worry about, she buckled under. I was afraid she would buckle under.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Give way, collapse owing to stress, as in One more heavy snowfall and the roof may buckle under, or She buckled under the strain of two jobs. [Late 1500s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To bend, crumple or collapse under some great weight or pressure: The bridge supports were weakened by rust and buckled under the weight of the heavy truck. The metal chair I was sitting on suddenly buckled under, and I fell to the ground.
2. To succumb to or be adversely affected by some pressure: Some schools have buckled under the strain of having too many new students. I had fought very hard against their ideas but finally buckled under to them.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.