Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A coarse cotton fabric heavily sized with glue, used for stiffening garments and in bookbinding.
  • n. Archaic Rigid formality.
  • adj. Resembling or suggesting buckram, as in stiffness or formality: "a wondrous buckram style” ( Thomas Carlyle).
  • transitive v. To stiffen with or as if with buckram.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A coarse cloth of linen or hemp, stiffened with size or glue, used in garments to keep them in the form intended, and for wrappers to cover merchandise.
  • v. To stiffen with or as if with buckram.
  • n. A plant, Allium ursinum, also called ramson, wild garlic, or bear garlic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A coarse cloth of linen or hemp, stiffened with size or glue, used in garments to keep them in the form intended, and for wrappers to cover merchandise.
  • n. A plant. See Ramson.
  • adj. Made of buckram.
  • adj. Stiff; precise.
  • transitive v. To strengthen with buckram; to make stiff.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Formerly, a fine and costly material used for church banners and vestments and for personal wear; also, a cheaper material used for linings.
  • n. In recent times, coarse linen cloth stiffened with glue or gum, used as a stiffening for keeping garments in a required shape, and recently also in binding books.
  • n. 3. A buckram bag used by lawyers' clerks.
  • n. The ramson or bear's-garlic, Allium ursinum.
  • n. In the old herbals, the cuckoo-pint, Arum maculatum.
  • Made of or resembling buckram of either kind; hence, stiff; precise; formal.
  • To strengthen with buckram, or in the manner of buckram; make stiff.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. rigidly formal
  • n. a coarse cotton fabric stiffened with glue; used in bookbinding and to stiffen clothing
  • v. stiffen with or as with buckram

Etymologies

Middle English bukeram, fine linen, from Old French boquerant and from Old Italian bucherame, both after Bukhara (Bukhoro), from which fine linen was once imported.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bukeram ("fine linen"), from Anglo-Norman bokeram, from Old French boquerant, bougherant ("fine cloth"), bougueran, probably ultimately from Bokhara. (Wiktionary)
Perhaps from ealier buckrams, from buck +‎ ramps, ramsh (“wild garlic, ramson”). Compare Danish ramsløg ("ramson"), Swedish ramslök ("bear garlic, ramson"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • From Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution

    March 6, 2011

  • Citation (as adjective) on hodge-podge.

    October 8, 2008

  • men in buckram: sometimes proverbially for non-existent persons, in allusion to Falstaff's ‘four rogues in buckram’ (quot. 1596).

    February 6, 2007