Trapshooting, Skeet. a disk of baked clay or other material hurled into the air from a trap as a target.
Slang. a person in a situation likely to be taken advantage of by others.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use clay pigeon in a sentence
And there was Louis the Goon—his little clay pigeon—in one of the booths with a doll.
He is as erratic in his flight as a clay pigeon, though it is tolerably safe to assume that he will not jump backward.'Me-Smith' | Caroline Lockhart
I, with many misgivings, had a clay pigeon thrown, but the gun refused to go off.The Modern Pistol and How to Shoot It | Walter Winans
The annexed engravings show pictures of clay-pigeon shooting and of the firing of a ten-inch disappearing gun at Sandy Hook.Magic, Stage Illusions and Scientific Diversions Including Trick Photography | Albert A. Hopkins
In that which was left of a clay pigeon he would take not the faintest interest—the scent of it was paltry.The Complete Essays of John Galsworthy | John Galsworthy
British Dictionary definitions for clay pigeon
a disc of baked clay hurled into the air from a machine as a target to be shot at
US slang a person in a defenceless position; sitting duck
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with clay pigeon
A person easily duped or taken advantage of, as in You're a clay pigeon for all of those telephone fund-raisers. The term alludes to the clay pigeon of trapshooting, which replaced the use of live birds in this sport in the 1860s. Its transfer to figurative use in the first half of the 1900s probably is explained by the much older slang use of pigeon for “dupe.” Also see fall guy.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.