[ dek ]
/ dɛk /
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See synonyms for: deck / decked / decking on Thesaurus.com

Civil Engineering. (of a bridge truss) having a deck or floor upon or above the structure.Compare through (def. 22).
verb (used with object)
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Idioms about deck

Origin of deck

1425–75; (noun) late Middle English dekke material for covering <Middle Dutch dec covering, roof; (v.) <Dutch dekken to cover; cognate with German decken;cf. thatch


un·decked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


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.”

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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.

How to use deck in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for deck

/ (dɛk) /

verb (tr)
See also deck over

Derived forms of deck

decker, noun

Word Origin for deck

C15: from Middle Dutch dec a covering; related to thatch
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 deck


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