any of numerous wild or domesticated web-footed swimming birds of the family Anatidae, especially of the genus Anas and allied genera, characterized by abroad, flat bill, short legs, and depressed body.
the female of this bird, as distinguished from the male.: Compare drake1.
the flesh of this bird, eaten as food.
a playing marble, especially one that is not used as a shooter.
ducks, (used with a singular verb)British Slang. ducky2.
failure of a batsman to score: to be out for a duck.
a player's score of zero: to be bowled for a duck.: Compare goose egg (def. 1).
Idioms about duck
water off a duck's back, something that has little or no effect: Our criticisms of his talk rolled off him like water off a duck's back.
Other definitions for duck (2 of 4)
to plunge the whole body or the head momentarily under water.
Cards Informal. to play a card lower than the card led.
to lower suddenly: Duck your head going through that low doorway.
to avoid or evade (a blow, unpleasant task, etc.); dodge: to duck a hard right;to duck an embarrassing question.
to plunge or dip in water momentarily.
Cards Informal. to play a card lower than (the card led).
an act or instance of ducking.
Other definitions for duck (3 of 4)
a heavy, plain-weave cotton fabric for tents, clothing, bags, etc., in any of various weights and widths.
ducks, (used with a plural verb) slacks or trousers made of this material.
Other definitions for duck (4 of 4)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use duck in a sentence
For example, research reported in Science magazine found that in the laboratory, the virus either did not replicate or did not spread easily in dogs, pigs, chickens, or ducks.Everything we know—and don’t know—about human-to-animal COVID transmission | jakemeth | September 4, 2020 | Fortune
The pathway itself is a bit of a strange duck, because not all neurons that form it respond to the initial fear.Towards ‘Eternal Sunshine’? New Links Found Between Memory and Emotion | Shelly Fan | July 28, 2020 | Singularity Hub
Most eggs in the new study passed through a duck within one hour.
The new study shows how water birds, such as ducks, may be part of that spread, she says.
Shallow ponds — called potholes — on the prairie serve as nesting sites for half of the ducks in North America.
The user fee on duck stamps goes exclusively to funding federal acquisition of wetlands as wildlife habitat.Nazis, Sunscreen, and Sea Gull Eggs: Congress in 2014 Was Hella Productive | Ben Jacobs | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Federal duck Stamp Act raised the fee on stamps needed to hunt waterfowl on federal land from $15 to $25.Nazis, Sunscreen, and Sea Gull Eggs: Congress in 2014 Was Hella Productive | Ben Jacobs | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Because duck Dynasty receives monster TV ratings and Robertson paid by a company (A&E) while making these public statements.Butts, Brawls, and Bill Cosby: The Biggest Celebrity Scandals of 2014 | Kevin Fallon | December 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
One of the most persistent myths in American politics is the media-fueled concept of the lame duck.The Liberation of the Lame Duck: Obama Goes Full Bulworth | John Avlon | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A Fish and Wildlife special agent collected the bodies of two birds at the site, a redhead duck and a mourning dove.Two Texas Regulators Tried to Enforce the Rules. They Were Fired. | David Hasemyer, InsideClimate News | December 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was no wonder that he felt quite at home in the duck-pond, which was made for web-footed folk.The Tale of Grandfather Mole | Arthur Scott Bailey
It is interesting to notice a resemblance between this huge bird and our English wild duck or plover.Hunting the Lions | R.M. Ballantyne
Perhaps it was as well that she allowed such responsibilities to slip past her like water running off the feathers of a duck.The Girls of Central High on the Stage | Gertrude W. Morrison
Then Kip had to duck back into a darkened doorway as Carlson retraced his steps, and got back into his car.
(I mean the widow lady's whiskered companion)—I saw him eat pease with the very knife with which he had dissected the duck!Little Travels and Roadside Sketches | William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for duck (1 of 4)
any of various small aquatic birds of the family Anatidae, typically having short legs, webbed feet, and a broad blunt bill: order Anseriformes
the flesh of this bird, used as food
the female of such a bird, as opposed to the male (drake)
any other bird of the family Anatidae, including geese, and swans
Also: ducks British informal dear or darling: used as a term of endearment or of general address: See also ducky
informal a person, esp one regarded as odd or endearing
cricket a score of nothing by a batsman
like water off a duck's back informal without effect
take to something like a duck to water informal to become adept at or attracted to something very quickly
British Dictionary definitions for duck (2 of 4)
to move (the head or body) quickly downwards or away, esp so as to escape observation or evade a blow
to submerge or plunge suddenly and often briefly under water
(when intr, often foll by out) informal to dodge or escape (a person, duty, etc)
(intr) bridge to play a low card when possessing a higher one rather than try to win a trick
the act or an instance of ducking
- ducker, noun
British Dictionary definitions for duck (3 of 4)
a heavy cotton fabric of plain weave, used for clothing, tents, etc: See also ducks
British Dictionary definitions for duck (4 of 4)
an amphibious vehicle used in World War II
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 duck
In addition to the idioms beginning with duck
- duck out
- duck soup
- dead duck
- get one's ducks in a row
- lame duck
- like water off a duck's back
- sitting duck
- take to (like a duck to water)
- ugly duckling
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.