- a floorlike surface wholly or partially occupying one level of a hull, superstructure, or deckhouse, generally cambered, and often serving as a member for strengthening the structure of a vessel.
- the space between such a surface and the next such surface above: Our stateroom was on B deck.
verb (used with object)
- decision theory,
- decision tree,
- deck beam,
- deck bolt,
- deck bridge,
- deck chair,
- deck crane
- to prepare for combat, as by removing all unnecessary gear.
- to prepare for some activity or work, as by getting rid of hindrances.
- Nautical.to rise from bed.
- to fall, drop, or be knocked to the ground or floor.
- Baseball.next at bat; waiting one's turn to bat.
- Informal.next in line; coming up; scheduled.
- Informal.prepared to act or work; ready.
Origin of deck
- the horizontal platform that supports the turntable and pick-up of a record player
- See tape deck
- to fall to the floor or ground, esp in order to avoid injury
- to prepare for action
- to get out of bed
Word Origin for deck
"knock down," c.1953, probably from deck (n.) on the notion of laying someone out on the deck. Related: Decked; decking.
"covering over part of a ship," mid-15c., perhaps a shortening of Middle Low German verdeck (or a related North Sea Germanic word), a nautical word, from ver- "fore" + decken "to cover, put under roof," from Proto-Germanic *thackjam (related to thatch, q.v.).
Sense extended early in English from "covering" to "platform of a ship." "Pack of cards" is 1590s, perhaps because they were stacked like decks of a ship. Deck chair (1884) so called because they were used on ocean liners. Tape deck (1949) is in reference to the flat surface of old reel-to-reel tape recorders.
"adorn" (as in deck the halls), early 15c., from Middle Dutch dekken "to cover," from the same Germanic root as deck (n.). Meaning "to cover" is from 1510s in English. Replaced Old English þeccan. Related: Decked; decking.
hit the deck
Also, hit the dirt. Fall to the ground, usually for protection. For example, As the planes approached, we hit the deck, or We heard shooting and hit the dirt. In the early 1900s the first expression was nautical slang for “jump out of bed,” or “wake up,” and somewhat later, “get going.” The current meaning dates from the 1920s.
In addition to the idiom beginning with deck
- deck out
- clear the decks
- hit the deck
- on deck