Definitions

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

  • n. A small wheel or roller; a caster.
  • intransitive v. To be servile or submissive. See Synonyms at fawn1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a small wheel; a caster or pulley
  • v. To roll or move upon truckles, or casters; to trundle.
  • v. to act in a submissive manner; to fawn, submit to a superior

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small wheel or caster.
  • intransitive v. To yield or bend obsequiously to the will of another; to submit; to creep.
  • transitive v. To roll or move upon truckles, or casters; to trundle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A wheel of a pulley; also, a pulley.
  • n. Jabol, a truckle or pullie. … Moufle, a truckle for a pullie.
  • n. A small wheel or caster.
  • n. A small flat cheese.
  • n. A truckle-bed.
  • To move on rollers or casters; trundle.
  • To sleep in a truckle-bed. See truckle, n., 4, and truckle-bed.
  • Hence To be tamely subordinate, as a pupil to his tutor, or a servant to his master; yield or bend obsequiously to the will of another; submit; cringe; act in a servile manner: usually with to or under.

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

  • n. a low bed to be slid under a higher bed
  • v. try to gain favor by cringing or flattering
  • v. yield to out of weakness

Etymologies

Middle English trocle, pulley, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin trochlea, system of pulleys; see trochlea.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English trokel, trocle, trookyl, from Medieval Latin trochlea ("a block, sheaf containing one or more pulleys"); or from a diminutive of truck ("wheel"), formed with -le, equivalent to truck +‎ -le. (Wiktionary)
From a back formation of truckle bed (a bed on which a pupil slept, because it was rolled on casters into a lower position under the master's larger bed), from Middle English trookylbed. Compare also trundle bed. Assisted by false association with Middle English *trukelen, truken, trokien, trukien, from Old English trucian ("to fail, diminish"), Low German truggeln ("to flatter, fawn"), see truck. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "I suppose that's what they call a truckle-bed," he mused.

    Count Bunker

  • They frankly welcomed the new-comer, and if they did not, as Ingred had bitterly prognosticated, exactly "truckle" to her, they certainly began to treat her as a favorite.

    A Popular Schoolgirl

  • A Vacherin Mont d'Or with some really good crackers is hard not to like, as is a Stilton or a truckle of English cheddar.

    In the Mood for Stuff You Can Burn, Eat or Read

  • "Britons, fortified by a much more active, muscular liberalism, would no longer truckle to politically correct notions of passive tolerance," says the Prime Minister.

    Shahnaz Taplin-Chinoy: The Politics Of Islamophobia In Britain

  • He and his friends, pursuing “a nobler destiny,” felt “no disposition to truckle to the petty usurper, who came into power against the wishes of the great men of his own party, and whose personal character was unworthy of the favor of the meanest minion that shouted in his train.”

    A Country of Vast Designs

  • “Let those whose servility of soul qualified them for the menial task truckle to the Executive,” he declared.

    A Country of Vast Designs

  • I returned to the cramped little room I shared with Bridget and the maids—they slept on the truckle bed—still starved for company.

    Secrets of the Tudor Court

  • Then I took it to Custer for his signature; he tore his hair and swore he'd die before he'd "truckle to that miscreant Grant".

    Isabelle

  • And that Obama expects a return to civility and fair treatment by supporting such reThugs and instead he got from Lieberman precisely what you get when you truckle to rethugs: Lieberman endorsed McCain drawing independents away and Obama lost New Hampshire.

    Ned Lamont Endorses Obama

  • Because the principal (and his related principal Deciders) in the school district decided that it was easier to truckle to a ridiculous complaint than to explain why the complaint, in this instance, was ridiculous ... which would've meant explaining why the original title of the novel the play's based on is irrelevant to the nature of the play.

    Agatha Christie Banned in Ohio

Comments

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  • "She was a fine dashing woman, and without being either pretty or beautiful she gave the impression of being both, mostly from the splendid way she carried her head. She despised her scrub of a husband, who truckled to her; and she had taken to music as a relief from him..."
    -Patrick O'Brien, _Master and Commander_

    July 28, 2011

  • "2. To behave with meanness and servility; crouch; truckle." -- From the Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia definition for sneak.

    July 11, 2011

  • "I am convinced that, broadly speaking, the audience must accept the piece on my own terms; that it is fatal to truckle to what one conceives to be popular taste."
    - Sidney Joseph Perelman, quoted in 'The Perelman Papers', by Herbert Mitgang, New York Times, 15 March 1981.

    August 25, 2009

  • Green-painted steel truckle, mattress besmirched with
    previous occupants' greasy exudings...

    - Peter Reading, Going On, 1985

    June 19, 2009

  • me, too!

    October 1, 2007

  • You're right, skipvia. I do. :-)

    October 1, 2007

  • You've got to love a word whose definitions include "to bend obsequiously," "a low bed to slide under another bed," and "a type of barrel cheese."

    October 1, 2007