Meaning of DUCK in English


I. ˈdək noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English doke, from Old English dūce — more at duck II

1. or plural duck

a. : any of various swimming birds of the family Anatidae which have the neck and legs short, the body more or less depressed, the bill often broad and flat, the tarsi scutellate in front, and the sexes almost always differing from each other in plumage and which are distinguished by these characteristics and by their comparatively small size from the swans and geese

b. : the flesh of any of these birds used as food

2. : a female duck as distinguished from a male — compare drake

3. Britain

a. or ducks plural but singular in construction : pet , darling — often used as a term of address

b. : something or someone attractive or charming

a duck of a car — Everybody's Magazine

he was a nice old duck , and very fond of her — Margery Sharp

4. : one that cannot act effectively because of disablement or other cause — compare dead duck , lame duck , sitting duck

5. : duck on a rock ; also : one of the player's stones

6. slang

a. : a person with peculiar mental or physical characteristics

a little old duck with waxed mustache, you say, and a cane? — Frank King

he's a queer duck

b. : rascal

7. Britain : a score of nothing : goose egg

the batsman was bowled first ball for a duck

8. : mig


[so called from its shape]

slang : urinal

[s]duck.jpg[/s] [

duck 1a (male): 1 bean, 2 bill, 3 nostril, 4 head, 5 eye, 6 auricular region, 7 neck, 8 cape, 9 shoulder, 10, 11 wing coverts, 12 saddle, 13 secondaries, 14 primaries, 15 rump, 16 drake feathers, 17 tail, 18 tail coverts, 19 down, 20 shank, 21 web, 22 breast, 23 wing front, 24 wing bow


II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English douken, duken; akin to Old English dūce duck, Middle Low German & Middle Dutch dūken to dive, Old High German tūhhan

transitive verb

1. : to plunge under water ; specifically : to plunge the head of (a person or animal) under water

2. : to lower (as the head or body) quickly : bow

ducked her head to everyone on the platform, and ran down the steps — Hodding Carter

ducking her head against the rain, hastened on — Pearl Puckett

3. : avoid , evade

he tried to duck the blame

most of the Senate wanted to duck the issue — T.R.Ybarra

much evidence that administrators, faculties, and trustees duck their separate responsibilities — Albert Lumley

intransitive verb


a. : to go quickly under the surface of water and reappear

b. : to descend suddenly : dive , dip

the trail ducked into a narrow gulch — Wallace Stegner


a. : to lower the head or body suddenly

the batteries he fired at promptly ceased their fire as the gunners ducked behind cover — C.S.Forester

she would duck through the low entrance of her hut — Jacquetta & Christopher Hawkes

b. : bow , bob

3. : to try to seize an apple with the teeth as it floats in a tub of water — used with for ; compare bob vi 1c


a. : to move quickly and often surreptitiously (as to escape danger or observation) : disappear suddenly : dodge

at sight of the officer he ducked around the corner and into an alley

— often used with out

I ducked out of the convention hall half a dozen times to watch the TV — E.D.Canham

b. : to avoid a duty, question, or responsibility : back out

some grocery bills that a little hole-in-the-wall lunch counter was trying to duck out on — H.L.Davis

5. : to play a low card rather than cover a card previously played or try to win a trick

Synonyms: see dip , dodge

III. noun

( -s )

: a sudden lowering of the head or stooping of the body : a dip or quick plunge

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Dutch doek cloth, linen, canvas, from Middle Dutch doec; akin to Old Saxon dōk cloth, Old High German tuoh, and perhaps to Sanskrit dhvaja flag, Avestan dvazh- to flutter

1. : a durable plain closely woven fabric now usually of cotton made in various weights and used in the gray (as for sails, bags, belting) or with various finishes (as for tents, awnings, clothing) — compare canvas

2. ducks plural : light clothes made of duck ; especially : trousers made of such material

V. noun

( -s )

Usage: sometimes capitalized

Etymology: alteration (influenced by duck ) (I) of DUKWelsh, its code designation

: a 2 1/2-ton 6-wheel-drive truck equipped with a propeller and watertight hull for ferrying, lighter service, or amphibious landing of troops

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.