Definition of tuck in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /tək/


1 [with object] Push, fold, or turn (the edges or ends of something, especially a garment or bedclothes) so as to hide them or hold them in place: he tucked his shirt into his trousers
More example sentences
  • She pulled the blankets tighter over her head, tucking the ends underneath herself to form a cocoon, to block out the noise.
  • Place the fish on top, tucking any tail ends under to make neat parcels.
  • Holding the pasta curved side up, tuck the edges under and pinch to secure.
push, insert, slip, fold;
thrust, stuff, stick, cram
1.1 (tuck someone in) Make someone, especially a child, comfortable in bed by pulling the edges of the bedclothes firmly under the mattress: he carried her back to bed and tucked her in
More example sentences
  • Without my knowing, Terrence pulled back the silky covers of his bed and tucked me in, placing his soft lips on my forehead before leaving the room, closing the door with a soft click.
  • In her home I ate my first real Aussie meal, and during a sleep-over I experienced her mother's kindness when she came into my room at night and with gentle hands straightened the coverlet on my bed and tucked me in.
  • Then, I lied her in her clean bed and tucked her in.
1.2Draw (something, especially part of one’s body) together into a small space: she tucked her legs under her
More example sentences
  • His wings rustled and spread out, then tucked themselves back in.
  • Some traffic passed on the other side of the road, Mac tucked himself in against the car and ignored it.
  • His hands tucked themselves into his large pockets, almost as if of their own accord.
1.3Put (something) away in a specified place or way so as to be hidden, safe, comfortable, or tidy: the colonel was coming toward her, his gun tucked under his arm
More example sentences
  • Sometime while I was singing she had managed to wrap an arm around me and tucked her head under my chin.
  • A signed recall proposal kept tucked in a drawer is a constant threat to the government.
  • She carries a small wooden truncheon tucked up her sleeve in case her customers turn violent.
hide, conceal, secrete;
store, stow, stash
2 [with object] Make a flattened, stitched fold in (a garment or material), typically so as to shorten or tighten it, or for decoration.
pleat, gather, fold, ruffle


1A flattened, stitched fold in a garment or material, typically one of several parallel folds put in a garment for shortening, tightening, or decoration: a dress with tucks along the bodice
More example sentences
  • There were tucks and folds and frills and bows and lace and rhinestones and embroidery and ribbons all over it.
  • The idea is to complement a window's architectural style with innovative folds, fanciful tucks, or simple pleats set one behind the other.
  • Mild Red stayed true to its trademark of uneven necklines and hemlines, idiosyncratic tucks and darting and the mixed media of wools and wovens
pleat, gather, fold, ruffle
1.1 [usually with modifier] informal A surgical operation to reduce surplus flesh or fat: a tummy tuck
More example sentences
  • USA Today reports that more and more men are trying to turn back the clock with cosmetic nips and tucks.
  • Could sagging breasts be fixed, not with a nip or a tuck, but with an injection of Botox?
  • That may be so, but why should someone suffer from society's slights if she can overcome them with a nip here and a tuck there?
2British informal, dated Food, typically cakes and candy, eaten by children at school as a snack: [as modifier]: a tuck shop
More example sentences
  • The Nutrition in Schools Bill, expected to be published within weeks, will give ministers powers to ban unhealthy foods from school tuck shops and canteens.
  • The projects being piloted in 500 schools across the country include a crackdown on unhealthy foods in school tuck shops and vending machines.
  • During the week there was a poster contest, a healthy food cook-off, and deliciously healthy snacks in the school tuck shop.
3 (also tuck position) (In diving, gymnastics, downhill skiing, etc.) a position with the knees bent and held close to the chest, often with the hands clasped around the shins.
Example sentences
  • If the hill isn't fast enough for you, you can even use a tuck position like a downhill ski racer!
  • Let's remember, for example, how much talk there was during the early 1970s when Olga Korbut performed the backward somersault in tuck position on the beam.
  • The quadriceps - the muscles on the fronts of the thighs - are strengthened both from the sustained isometric contraction while gliding in a tuck position and from the repeated contractions and extensions of stroking.

Phrasal verbs


tuck something away

1Store something in a secure place: employees can tuck away a percentage of their pretax salary
More example sentences
  • With companies purchasing storage space in record numbers, the question that presents itself is how to manage and monitor all of this information once it is tucked away.
  • For some people using coupons is a bother - but if you get in the habit of tucking them away in your purse, it will become second nature.
1.1 (be tucked away) Be located in an inconspicuous or concealed place: the police station was tucked away in a square behind the main street
More example sentences
  • This bijou design hotel near the Costa Smerelda is tucked away at the end of a beach road in Conca Verde, a smattering of smart villas on the protected Coluccia peninsula on Sardinia's stunning north coast.
  • The Cimetière de Laval is tucked away on the Chemin Bas St-François, a bucolic, sober field far away from the traffic and noise of the city across the river.
  • The Media Collection is tucked away on the fifth floor, surrounded on three sides by the ocean of print that comprises the upper half of the library.
2 informal Eat a lot of food.

tuck in (or into)

informal Eat food heartily: I tucked into the bacon and scrambled eggs
More example sentences
  • And after seven years of liquid food, Jack is tucking into foods that for years he could only dream of.
  • She is keen to get children as young as possible tucking into healthier food.
  • They tucked into a range of foods from the American hotdog and Italian pizza to Thai stir fry and Indian kebab.


Old English tūcian 'to punish, ill-treat'; related to tug. Influenced in Middle English by Middle Dutch tucken 'pull sharply'.

Words that rhyme with tuck

buck, Canuck, chuck, cluck, cruck, duck, luck, muck, pluck, puck, ruck, schmuck, shuck, struck, stuck, suck, truck, upchuck, yuck

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tuck

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.