Meaning of DUCK in English


/ dʌk; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun


( pl. ducks or duck ) [ C ] a common bird that lives on or near water and has short legs, webbed feet (= feet with thin pieces of skin between the toes) and a wide beak. There are many types of duck, some of which are kept for their meat or eggs :

wild ducks

duck eggs


[ C ] a female duck

—compare drake


[ U ] meat from a duck :

roast duck with orange sauce


(also duckie , ducks , ducky ) [ C , usually sing. ] ( BrE , informal ) a friendly way of addressing sb :

Anything else, duck?

—compare dear , love


a duck [ sing. ] ( in cricket ) a batsman's score of zero :

He was out for a duck.

—see also lame duck , sitting duck


- get / have (all) your ducks in a row

- (take to sth) like a duck to water

—more at dead adjective , water noun

■ verb


duck (down) | duck (behind / under sth) to move your head or body downwards to avoid being hit or seen :

[ v ]

He had to duck as he came through the door.

We ducked down behind the wall so they wouldn't see us.

He just managed to duck out of sight .

[ vn ]

She ducked her head and got into the car.


[ vn ] to avoid sth by moving your head or body out of the way

SYN dodge :

He ducked the first few blows then started to fight back.


[ v + adv. / prep. ] to move somewhere quickly, especially in order to avoid being seen :

She ducked into the adjoining room as we came in.


duck (out of) sth to avoid a difficult or unpleasant duty or responsibility :

[ v ]

It's his turn to cook dinner, but I bet he'll try to duck out of it.

[ vn ]

The government is ducking the issue.


( NAmE also dunk ) [ vn ] to push sb underwater and hold them there for a short time :

The kids were ducking each other in the pool.



noun senses 1 to 3 Old English duce , from the Germanic base of duck in the verb sense (expressing the notion of diving bird ).

verb Middle English : of Germanic origin; related to Dutch duiken and German tauchen dive, dip, plunge, also to duck , the bird.

noun sense 5 mid 19th cent.: short for duck's egg , used for the figure 0 because of its similar outline.

noun sense 4 late 16th cent.: from duck , the bird.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.