A Mallard duck in flight.
- The definition of a duck is a swimming bird with a flat bill, short legs and webbed feet.
An example of a duck are the Disney characters Donald and Daffy.
- To duck is defined as to lower the head or body quickly as if to avoid a blow.
An example of to duck is a boxer dodging their opponent's punch.
- pl. ducks or any of a large number of relatively small waterfowl with a flat bill, short neck and legs, and webbed feet
- a female duck
- the flesh of a duck as food
- Chiefly Brit., Informal a darling; dear
- Slang a person, esp. one qualified as being “odd,” “harmless,” “funny,” etc.
Origin of duckMiddle English doke from Old English duce, literally , diver, ducker from base of an unverified form ducan, to plunge, dive (see duck); replaces Old English ened (akin to German ente), common Germanic word for the bird
have (or get) one's ducks in a row
Origin of duckprob. in allusion to a mother duck leading a line of her ducklings
like water off a duck's back
- to plunge or dip under water for a moment
- to lower, turn, or bend (the head, body, etc.) suddenly, as in avoiding a blow or in hiding
- Informal to avoid or evade: the candidate ducked the issue
- Slang to move (in or out) quickly
Origin of duckMiddle English douken from Old English an unverified form ducan, to plunge, dive, akin to Old High German t?han (Ger tauchen), Middle Low German d?ken, Dutch duiken, to dive
- a cotton or linen cloth somewhat like canvas but finer and lighter in weight
- [pl.] clothes, esp. white trousers, made of this cloth
Origin of duckDutch doek, akin to German tuch, cloth
Origin of duckaltered (infl. by duck) from DUKW, military code name
- Any of various wild or domesticated waterbirds of the family Anatidae, characteristically having a broad flat bill, short legs, and webbed feet.
- A female duck.
- The flesh of a duck used as food.
- Slang A person, especially one thought of as peculiar.
- often ducks used with a sing. verb Chiefly British A dear.
Origin of duckMiddle English doke from Old English dūce possibly from dūcan to dive ; see duck 2.
verbducked, duck·ing, ducks
- To lower quickly, especially so as to avoid something: ducked his head as the ball came toward him.
- To evade; dodge: duck responsibility; ducked the reporter's question.
- To push (a person, for example) suddenly under water.
- In bridge, to deliberately play a card that is lower than (an opponent's card).
- To lower the head or body.
- To move swiftly, especially so as to escape being seen: ducked behind a bush.
- To submerge the head or body briefly in water.
- To evade a responsibility or obligation. Often used with out: duck out on one's family.
- In bridge, to lose a trick by deliberately playing lower than one's opponent.
- A quick lowering of the head or body.
- A plunge under water.
Origin of duckMiddle English douken to dive possibly from Old English dūcan Middle Low German and Middle Dutch dūken
- A durable, closely woven heavy cotton or linen fabric.
- ducks Clothing made of duck, especially white pants.
Origin of duckDutch doek cloth from Middle Dutch doec
- An amphibious military truck used during World War II.
- A similar vehicle used for civilian purposes, as to evacuate flood victims or for sightseeing tours. Also called In both senses also called DUKW .
Origin of duckAlteration (influenced by duck 1)of DUKW
- A surname.