View synonyms for deck


[ dek ]


  1. Nautical.
    1. (on a ship) a floorlike surface occupying one level of the hull, superstructure, or deckhouse and often serving to strengthen the structure of the vessel.
    2. the space between such a surface and the next such surface above:

      Our stateroom was on B deck.

  2. an open, unroofed porch or platform extending from a house or other building. Compare sun deck.
  3. any open platform suggesting an exposed deck of a ship.
  4. a level, tier, or section of a structure, such as of a stadium or vehicle:

    We got excellent seats for the game in the lower deck.

    We took the elevator to the observation deck.

    I like sitting on the upper deck in those double-decker buses.

  5. a pack of playing cards.
  6. Digital Technology. a set of slides with text, pictures, or diagrams for presentation:

    I’ve put together a slide deck for the new hires, showing what each department does.

    We asked the consultant to put together a branding deck for the business.

  7. a flat or nearly flat watertight surface, such as at the top of a mansard roof.
  8. Meteorology. Also called cloud deck. a continuous or fragmented distribution of clouds all sharing the same cloud base; cloud layer.
  9. Slang. a small packet of a narcotic, especially heroin.
  10. Printing. bank 3( def 8 ).
  11. Also called rear deck. the cover of a space behind the backseat of an automobile or the space itself.
  12. Library Science. a level of book shelving and associated facilities in the stacks of a library, as one of a series of floors or tiers.

verb (used with object)

  1. to clothe or attire (people) or array (rooms, houses, etc.) in something ornamental or decorative (often followed by out ):

    We were all decked out in our Sunday best.

    The bakery window was decked with holly for the holiday season.

    Synonyms: dress, embellish, adorn, bedizen, trim, garnish, bedeck

  2. Informal. to knock down; floor:

    The champion decked the challenger in the first round.

  3. to furnish with a deck.


  1. Civil Engineering. (of a bridge truss) having a deck or floor upon or above the structure. Compare through ( def 22 ).


/ dɛk /


  1. nautical any of various platforms built into a vessel

    a promenade deck

    the poop deck

  2. a similar floor or platform, as in a bus
    1. the horizontal platform that supports the turntable and pick-up of a record player
  3. a pack of playing cards
  4. obsolete.
    Also calledpack computing a collection of punched cards relevant to a particular program
  5. a raised wooden platform built in a garden to provide a seating area
  6. clear the decks informal.
    to prepare for action, as by removing obstacles from a field of activity or combat
  7. hit the deck informal.
    1. to fall to the floor or ground, esp in order to avoid injury
    2. to prepare for action
    3. to get out of bed
“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


  1. often foll by out to dress or decorate
  2. to build a deck on (a vessel)
  3. slang.
    to knock (a person) to the floor or ground
“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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Derived Forms

  • ˈdecker, noun
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Other Words From

  • un·decked adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of deck1

First recorded in 1425–75; (for the noun) late Middle English dekke “material for covering,” from Middle Dutch dec “covering, roof”; (for the verb) from Dutch dekken “to cover”; cognate with German decken; thatch
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Word History and Origins

Origin of deck1

C15: from Middle Dutch dec a covering; related to thatch
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. clear the decks,
    1. to prepare for combat, as by removing all unnecessary gear.
    2. to prepare for some activity or work, as by getting rid of hindrances.
  2. hit the deck, Slang.
    1. Nautical. to rise from bed.
    2. to fall, drop, or be knocked to the ground or floor.
  3. on deck,
    1. Baseball. next at bat; waiting one's turn to bat.
    2. Informal. next in line; coming up; scheduled.
    3. Informal. prepared to act or work; ready.
  4. play with / have a full deck, Slang. to be sane, rational, or reasonably intelligent:

    Whoever dreamed up this scheme wasn't playing with a full deck.

  5. stack the deck. stack ( def 25 ).

More idioms and phrases containing deck

In addition to the idiom beginning with deck , also see clear the decks ; hit the deck ; on deck .
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Example Sentences

Don’t wait until your idea or pitch deck is perfect, she says, before meeting with a small handful of people.

From Fortune

War is a two-player game in which a standard deck of cards is first shuffled and then divided into two piles with 26 cards each — one pile for each player.

The wide deck and front suspension provide a bounce-free ride while the heat-treated brake means you’ll always be in control.

This time around, we considered a number of experimental experiences, including interfaces where readers could shuffle the House, Senate and presidential forecasts like a deck of cards, or ones where users could sort of choose their own adventure.

Last week, the decks were cleared for the world’s largest social messenger app to start providing payment services in India.

From Quartz

“Deck the Halls” was written back in the 16th century, when the English language was very different.

Obama has latched on to the failure of the embargo to topple the Castros as justification to shuffle the deck.

Deck your halls instead with boughs of holly, shouting “Merry Christmas” (or “Happy Hanukkah”) well into the night.

Anyone willing to threaten war over a joke is clearly not playing with a full deck.

For starters, from a purely practical, all-hands-on-deck position, I say if you can do the job, you should keep the job.

It ended on a complaint that she was 'tired rather and spending my time at full length on a deck-chair in the garden.'

A few moments afterward he was seen dragging his own trunk ashore, while Mr. Hitchcock finished his story on the boiler deck.

Fancy that enormous shell dropping suddenly out of the blue on to a ship's deck swarming with troops!

Maybe it didn't feel good to be on the hurricane deck of a good horse once more!

I'd much rather see what is going on than be cooped up below, and after lunch I told Bob I was going up on deck.


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More About Deck

What is a basic definition of deck?

The word deck is used as a noun to refer to a floorlike surface on a ship, an unroofed porch attached to a house, or a pack of playing cards. Deck has many other senses as a noun, verb, and adjective.

On a ship, a deck is a surface that acts as a floor that the crew is able to walk on. A ship can have more than one deck depending on size, so terms like upper deck, main deck, and lower deck may be used to tell them apart.

  • Real-life examples: The RMS Titanic was a large ship that had 10 decks. A pirate captain may order a crewman to swab, that is, mop, the deck.
  • Used in a sentence: I walked with the ship’s captain across the Promenade deck. 

When referring to a house, a deck is a roofless porch or platform that extends from the house itself. A deck can have many functions, such as providing a surface for outdoor furniture or a barbeque grill.

  • Real-life examples: A house built in a place with frequent sunny weather might have a sun deck that is a good spot for sunbathing or relaxing. A home with a swimming pool may have a pool deck that connects to the house so people can easily walk to the pool.
  • Used in a sentence: We sat on the deck and watched the fireworks.

A pack of playing cards is also called a deck. In the United States, a standard set of playing cards has 52 cards in four suits—spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.

  • Real-life examples: Poker and blackjack are games that require a deck of cards. A fortune teller often uses a deck of tarot cards to tell fortunes.
  • Used in a sentence: The dealer drew the ace of diamonds from the deck.

Where does deck come from?

The first records of deck come from around 1425. It ultimately comes from the Middle Dutch dec, meaning “covering” or “roof.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to deck?

  • undecked (adjective)
  • decker (noun)

What are some synonyms for deck?

What are some words that share a root or word element with deck?

What are some words that often get used in discussing deck?

How is deck used in real life?

Deck is a common word that has a variety of meanings. Deck is often used to refer to the surface of a ship or a pack of cards.

Try using deck!

True or False?

On a ship, the deck is the large piece of wood that the sails are tied to.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.