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buck 1 (bŭk)
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n.
1.
a. A male deer.
b. The male of various other mammals, such as antelopes, kangaroos, mice, or rabbits.
c. Antelope considered as a group: a herd of buck.
2.
a. A robust or high-spirited young man.
b. A fop.
3. Offensive A Native American or black man.
4. An act or instance of bucking: a horse that unseated its rider on the first buck.
5.
a. Buckskin.
b. bucks Buckskin breeches or shoes.
v. bucked, buck·ing, bucks
v. intr.
1. To leap upward while arching the back: The horse bucked in fright.
2. To charge with the head lowered; butt.
3. To make sudden jerky movements; jolt: The motor bucked and lurched before it finally ran smoothly.
4. To resist stubbornly and obstinately; balk.
5. Informal To strive with determination: bucking for a promotion.
v. tr.
1. To throw or toss by bucking: buck off a rider; bucked the packsaddle off its back.
2. To oppose directly and stubbornly; go against: “Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the country, is bucking the trend” (American Demographics).
3. Football To charge into (an opponent's line) carrying the ball.
4. To butt against with the head.
adj.
Of the lowest rank in a specified military category: a buck private; a buck sergeant.
Phrasal Verb:
buck up
To summon one's courage or spirits; hearten: My friends tried to buck me up after I lost the contest.

[Middle English bukke, from Old English buc, male deer, and bucca, male goat.]

bucker n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
buck 2 (bŭk)
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n.
1. A sawhorse or sawbuck.
2. A leather-covered frame used for gymnastic vaulting.

[Alteration (influenced by BUCK1) of Dutch bok, male goat, trestle, from Middle Dutch boc.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
buck 3 (bŭk)
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n.
1. Informal A dollar.
2. Informal An amount of money: working overtime to make an extra buck.
3. Slang
a. A large round amount of currency, especially a hundred dollars.
b. A hundred of some other units, especially miles per hour or pounds: was doing a buck twenty out on the Interstate; a boxer weighing in at a buck fifty.

[Short for BUCKSKIN (from its use in trade).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
buck 4 (bŭk)
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n.
1. Games A counter or marker formerly passed from one poker player to another to indicate an obligation, especially one's turn to deal.
2. Informal Obligation to account for something; responsibility: tried to pass the buck for the failure to his boss.
tr.v. bucked, buck·ing, bucks
Informal
To pass (a task or duty) to another, especially so as to avoid responsibility: "We will see the stifling of initiative and the increased bucking of decisions to the top" (Winston Lord).
Idiom:
the buck stops here Informal
The ultimate responsibility rests here.

[Short for buckhorn knife (from its use as a marker in poker).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Buck (bŭk), Pearl Sydenstricker 1892-1973.
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American writer whose life as a missionary in China lent a vivid immediacy to her novels, including The Good Earth (1931). She won the 1938 Nobel Prize for literature.
(click for a larger image)
Pearl S. Buck
photographed c. 1968

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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