- a person who entices or lures another person or thing, as into danger, a trap, or the like.
- anything used as a lure.
- a trained bird or other animal used to entice game into a trap or within gunshot.
- an artificial bird, as a painted wooden duck, used for the same purpose.
- a pond into which wild fowl are lured for capture.
- an object capable of reflecting radar waves, used as a spurious aircraft, missile, chaff, etc., for the deception of radar detectors.
- to lure by or as if by a decoy: They decoyed the ducks to an area right in front of the blind.
- to become decoyed: Ducks decoy more easily than most other waterfowl.
Origin of decoy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for decoy
Lönnborg, who works as a lawyer in London, has on several occasions posed as Elin, acting as a decoy to throw off the paparazzi.Elin's New Life in Sweden
September 6, 2010
About sundown he took in his decoy Hen, as Owls were abundant, and went back to his camp.Johnny Bear
E. T. Seton
I want you, besides, to act as a decoy in a case I have already told you of.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
And in this trap of Iblis was decoy enough for a poor mouse like me.The Book of Khalid
The comparison of the mind to a block of wax, or to a decoy of birds, is found wanting.Theaetetus
One of the Indians then stationed himself as a decoy, and howled like a wolf.King Philip
John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
- a person or thing used to beguile or lead someone into danger; lure
- military something designed to deceive an enemy or divert his attention
- a bird or animal, or an image of one, used to lure game into a trap or within shooting range
- an enclosed space or large trap, often with a wide funnelled entrance, into which game can be lured for capture
- Canadian another word for deke (def. 1)
- to lure or be lured by or as if by means of a decoy
- (tr) Canadian another word for deke (def. 2)
Word Origin and History for decoy
1610s, perhaps from Dutch kooi "cage," used of a pond surrounded by nets, into which wildfowl were lured for capture, from West Germanic *kaiwa, from Latin cavea "cage." The first element is possibly the Dutch definite article de, mistaken in English as part of the word. But decoy, of unknown origin, was the name of a card game popular c.1550-1650, and this may have influenced the form of the word.
1650s, from decoy (n.). Related: Decoyed; decoying.