: involving or employing multiple methods or procedures to achieve a desired result especially out of caution or fear of failure
A small, personal estate-planning company accurately applied belt-and-suspenders thinking when it created an instructional service for insurance salesmen to teach them how to "push" its financial plans.Mack Hanan, Harvard Business Review, May-June 1976
These are belt-and-suspenders kinds of investments.Thomas P. Murphy, Forbes, 25 Dec. 1978
We worked out a belt-and-suspenders conservative way of protecting the well that I think in the final analysis would have satisfied everyone.J. Daniel Lugosch, Business Worcester, 18 Apr. 1988
If you're smart, you will first park your winnings in a money market mutual fund or a money market account at a bank … . (If you're the belt-and-suspenders type, you could open multiple accounts to get all your money covered.)New York Times, 6 Feb. 2000

Word History

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of belt-and-suspenders was in 1958

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Dictionary Entries Near belt-and-suspenders

Cite this Entry

“Belt-and-suspenders.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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