- to stoop or bend suddenly; bob.
- to avoid or evade a blow, unpleasant task, etc.; dodge.
- 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.
Origin of duck2
SynonymsSee more synonyms for duck on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ducking
He instead flew off to Denver for fundraising and a speech some of his fellow Democrats are ducking.Obama, Why Aren’t You in Chiraq?
July 9, 2014
She and her husband crawled on the floor, ducking as “falling glass, chandeliers, plates, food, and drink” fell on top of them.I Survived a Deadly Shipwreck: Costa Concordia Passengers Tell Their Stories
Barbie Latza Nadeau
May 19, 2014
When ducking into darkness beneath the deck, the savvy pirate would simply switch his eye patch from one eye to the other.Body Hack: How to See in the Dark (Like Pirates!)
December 10, 2013
Ducking the beams becomes more and more of an effort, and sometimes you forget to duck.Thatcher's Economic Legacy
April 8, 2013
Ducking debates is impossible now, but preparing for predictable problems, and even easy questions, should be Campaign 101.Mitt Romney Lost the Summer: Tax Returns, Overseas Gaffes, & More
August 8, 2012
I can't see the stage for you two ducking your heads together!The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
Then shall he not go without a ducking and eke a drubbing himself!The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
Could it have been that ducking his head in the river at Wythburn had caused it to burn like a furnace?The Shadow of a Crime
Ducking, he went down under the cloud, just what the Jerry wanted.
Stan laid over and made a sweep, ducking in and out of the flak.
- 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 addressSee 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
- 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
- a heavy cotton fabric of plain weave, used for clothing, tents, etcSee also ducks
- an amphibious vehicle used in World War II
Word Origin and History for ducking
waterfowl, Old English duce (found only in genitive ducan) "a duck," literally "a ducker," presumed to be from Old English *ducan "to duck, dive" (see duck (v.)). Replaced Old English ened as the name for the bird, this being from PIE *aneti-, the root of the "duck" noun in most Indo-European languages.
In the domestic state the females greatly exceed in number, hence duck serves at once as the name of the female and of the race, drake being a specific term of sex. [OED]
As a term of endearment, attested from 1580s. duck-walk is 1930s; duck soup "anything easily done" is by 1899. Duck's ass haircut is from 1951. Ducks-and-drakes, skipping flat stones on water, is from 1580s; the figurative sense of "throwing something away recklessly" is c.1600.
"strong, untwilled linen (later cotton) fabric," used for sails and sailors' clothing, 1630s, from Dutch doeck "linen cloth" (Middle Dutch doec), related to German Tuch "piece of cloth," Danish dug, Old Frisian dok, Old High German tuoh, all of unknown origin.
"to plunge into" (transitive), c.1300; to suddenly go under water (intransitive), mid-14c., from presumed Old English *ducan "to duck," found only in derivative duce (n.) "duck" (but there are cognate words in other Germanic languages, e.g. Old High German tuhhan "to dip," German tauchen "to dive," Old Frisian duka, Middle Dutch duken "to dip, dive," Dutch duiken), from Proto-Germanic *dukjan.
Sense of "bend, stoop quickly" is first recorded in English 1520s. Related: Ducked; ducking. The noun is attested from 1550s in the sense of "quick stoop;" meaning "a plunge, dip" is from 1843.
Idioms and Phrases with ducking
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