sitting duck

See synonyms for sitting duck on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a helpless or easy target or victim: a sitting duck for shady financial schemes.

Origin of sitting duck

1
First recorded in 1940–45

Words Nearby sitting duck

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sitting duck in a sentence

  • Six great green eggs, stolen from a sitting duck which had belonged to the ill-fated Pierce, were the staple food.

    The Serf | Guy Thorne
  • There is a very dangerous time when the driver is a sitting duck.

    The Fourth R | George Oliver Smith

Cultural definitions for sitting duck

sitting duck

A very easy target: “His arguments were so simple, she was able to knock them down like sitting ducks.” The term comes from hunting, where it is much easier to hit ducks when they are sitting on the water than when they are in flight.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with sitting duck

sitting duck

An easy target, as in If you park in front of a fire hydrant, you're a sitting duck for a ticket. This term alludes to the ease with which a hunter can shoot a duck that remains in one spot, in contrast to one in flight. [First half of 1900s]

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