[ dook, dyook ]
See synonyms for duke on Thesaurus.com
  1. (in Continental Europe) the male ruler of a duchy; the sovereign of a small state.

  2. a British nobleman holding the highest hereditary title outside the royal family, ranking immediately below a prince and above a marquis; a member of the highest rank of the British peerage.

  1. a nobleman of corresponding rank in certain other countries.

  2. a cultivated hybrid of the sweet and sour cherry.

  3. dukes, Slang. fists; hands: Put up your dukes.

verb (used with object),duked, duk·ing.
  1. Slang. to hit or thrash with the fists (sometimes followed by out): He duked me because he said I had insulted him.The bully said he was going to duke out anyone who disagreed.

Idioms about duke

  1. duke it out, to fight, especially with the fists; do battle: The adversaries were prepared to duke it out in the alley.

Origin of duke

First recorded in 1100–50; Middle English duke, duc, late Old English duc, from Old French duc, dus, dux, from Medieval Latin dux “hereditary ruler of a small state,” Latin: “leader”; see dux; def. 5 dukes (in the sense “fists”) of unclear derivation and perhaps of distinct origin

Words Nearby duke

Other definitions for Duke (2 of 2)

[ dook, dyook ]

  1. Benjamin Newton, 1855–1929, and his brother, James Buchanan, 1856–1925, U.S. industrialists.

  2. a male given name.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use duke in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for duke


/ (djuːk) /

  1. a nobleman of high rank: in the British Isles standing above the other grades of the nobility

  2. the prince or ruler of a small principality or duchy

Origin of duke

C12: from Old French duc, from Latin dux leader

Other words from duke

  • Related adjective: ducal

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