[kuh-nahrd; French ka-nar]

noun, plural ca·nards [kuh-nahrdz; French ka-nar] /kəˈnɑrdz; French kaˈnar/.

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 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for canard

Contemporary Examples of canard

Historical Examples of canard

  • 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



a false report; rumour or hoax
an aircraft in which the tailplane is mounted in front of the wing

Word Origin for canard

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

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