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[kuh-nahrd; French ka-nar] /kəˈnɑrd; French kaˈnar/
noun, plural canards
[kuh-nahrdz; French ka-nar] /kəˈnɑrdz; French kaˈnar/ (Show IPA)
a false or baseless, usually derogatory story, report, or rumor.
Cookery. a duck intended or used for food.
  1. an airplane that has its horizontal stabilizer and elevators located forward of the wing.
  2. Also called canard wing. one of two small lifting wings located in front of the main wings.
  3. an early airplane having a pusher engine with the rudder and elevator assembly in front of the wings.
Origin of canard
1840-50; < French: literally, duck; Old French quanart drake, orig. cackler, equivalent to can(er) to cackle (of expressive orig.) + -art -art, as in mallart drake; see mallard Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for canard
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Unfortunately that is only a canard invented by my dearest enemies.

    The Green Carnation

    Robert Smythe Hichens
  • Thus canard grew, and finally a beautiful church was built there.

    The Land of Evangeline

    John Frederic Herbin
  • This has, however, not been confirmed, and is considered (how justly we cannot say) a “canard.”

    Fungi: Their Nature and Uses Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
  • "So you are introducing the canard to the political world," remarked Lousteau.

  • The story of an armed band surrounding the bank had been a canard.

    The Price Francis Lynde
British Dictionary definitions for canard


/kæˈnɑːd; French kanar/
a false report; rumour or hoax
an aircraft in which the tailplane is mounted in front of the wing
Word Origin
C19: from French: a duck, hoax, from Old French caner to quack, of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for canard

before 1850, from French canard "a hoax," literally "a duck" (from Old French quanart, probably echoic of a duck's quack); said by Littré to be from the phrase vendre un canard à moitié "to half-sell a duck," thus, from some long-forgotten joke, "to cheat."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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