- (in Continental Europe) the male ruler of a duchy; the sovereign of a small state.
- a British nobleman holding the highest hereditary title outside the royal family, ranking immediately below a prince and above a marquis; a member of the highest rank of the British peerage.
- a nobleman of corresponding rank in certain other countries.
- a cultivated hybrid of the sweet and sour cherry.
- dukes, Slang. fists; hands: Put up your dukes.
- Slang. to hit or thrash with the fists (sometimes followed by out): He duked me because he said I had insulted him. The bully said he was going to duke out anyone who disagreed.
- duke it out, to fight, especially with the fists; do battle: The adversaries were prepared to duke it out in the alley.
Origin of duke
Examples from the Web for duking
Republican presidential candidates are duking it out online.The Social-Media Primary
October 16, 2011
In a London courtroom, Russian strongmen Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky are duking it out over billions.When Russian Oligarchs Attack
October 4, 2011
It would be pointless to spend the next few months duking it out with her only to lose on Caucus Day.Mitt's Iowa Schizophrenia
August 11, 2011
While soccer stars are duking it out in South Africa, math nerds matched wits in Germany.The Other World Cup
June 11, 2010
Where is this raw and savage land where Pit Bulls and Wheatens are duking it out?Get Rid of Pit Bulls
March 12, 2010
- a nobleman of high rank: in the British Isles standing above the other grades of the nobility
- the prince or ruler of a small principality or duchy
Word Origin and History for duking
early 12c., "sovereign prince," from Old French duc (12c.) and directly from Latin dux (genitive ducis) "leader, commander," in Late Latin "governor of a province," from ducere "to lead," from PIE *deuk- "to lead" (cf. Old English togian "to pull, drag," Old High German ziohan "to pull," Old English togian "to draw, drag," Middle Welsh dygaf "I draw").
Applied in English to "nobleman of the highest rank" probably first mid-14c., ousting native earl. Also used to translate various European titles (e.g. Russian knyaz).