Main definitions of quack in English

: quack1quack2

quack1

noun

  • The characteristic harsh sound made by a duck:

    ‘I heard a quack and saw some ducks huddled together’
    • ‘These sounds, called clicks, can be produced in such rapid succession as to sound like a buzz or even a duck-like quack.’
    • ‘One theory is that the sound of the quack tails away, which makes the echoes difficult to hear.’
    • ‘But even from the vague hints he throws out, I think we may rest assured it will not be the last quack of a lame duck.’
    • ‘All this takes place in quacks, of course, but the detailed character animation conveys a wide range of emotions.’
    • ‘I heard a thump and a quack, and guessed that he'd run into the wall (head first, as usual).’
    • ‘As we took off, I could hear a faint quack of relief from Archie's new acquaintances.’
    • ‘This is an interesting link for anyone who was wondering about those duck quacks.’
    • ‘I'm sorry to say that it's not true about the quack of a duck.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 (of a duck) make a quack:

    ‘ducks quacked from the lake’
    • ‘If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, is it still a duck?’
    • ‘We strolled up a steep street, where wild ducks quacked for food outside a shop, and into a quiet garden.’
    • ‘The kids were in rapture as they heard the animals bleating, mooing, and quacking.’
    • ‘All the ducks are in a row, quacking in the same direction right now, and it seems, you know, that's great.’
    • ‘I hope you grow donkey ears and quack like a duck!’
    • ‘Professor Cox said: ‘A duck quacks rather quietly, so the sound coming back is at a low level and might not be heard.’’
    • ‘Yet, in case after case, the chicken always ended up dead, while the duck went happily quacking down the river.’
    • ‘I trudged out finally, covered in mud and grime, with a few ducks quacking angrily at me.’
    • ‘They sat at the edge of the lake where a bunch of ducks came up and quacked at them.’
    • ‘I mean, I'm not gonna quack like a duck for a consequence.’
    • ‘A duck quacks in English, but a French duck says ‘coin coin’.’
    • ‘If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's not a swan.’
    • ‘Down near the pond, the ducks were quacking at an old couple that was throwing pieces of stale bread at them.’
    • ‘She will also turn her attention to Irish ducks, which presumably quack with an agreeable brogue.’
    • ‘Ducks wake up and quack and swim away as we pass on the narrow walks, little packs of 20 or so ducks.’
    • ‘Internet pages reveal phone conversations with journalists that consist of MacIsaac quacking like a duck before he hangs up.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's most likely… a duck.’
    • ‘The ducks were quacking and flapping around me loudly, so I thought better of staying in my place.’
    • ‘‘It's starting to walk like a duck and quack like a duck,’ remarked Engelke.’
    • ‘He may as well have quacked like a duck, because I don't hear a word he's saying.’
    1. 1.1informal (of a person) talk loudly and foolishly:
      ‘he was still quacking about vinyl's alleged superiority to CDs’
      • ‘Some of these remedies have been closer to quack concoctions.’
      • ‘Ever since Ride the Ducks came to town, I've watched those vessels drive by, its frenzied tourists quacking away.’

Origin

Mid 16th century (as a verb): imitative.

Pronunciation

quack

/kwak/

Main definitions of quack in English

: quack1quack2

quack2

noun

  • 1A person who dishonestly claims to have special knowledge and skill in some field, typically medicine:

    [as modifier] ‘a quack doctor’
    ‘quack cures’
    • ‘I've met very conscientious chiropractors in the past, but the field also seems to attract a number of quacks.’
    • ‘A lifestyle guru is a modern sort of mountebank, selling quack advice instead of false medicines.’
    • ‘But similarly, a new-age quack healer would disagree with a brain surgeon.’
    • ‘As we've said before, that's a totally quack claim.’
    • ‘An alternative medicine quack reckoned he could cure Faulkner of his twitching with a six-month course of treatment.’
    • ‘But why wouldn't they believe the claims of the detox quacks?’
    • ‘Not all ‘alternative’ medicine advocates, however, are quacks.’
    • ‘He despised quacks and charlatans because he admired the power of thought and reason so profoundly.’
    • ‘You are drawn to the plight of the bird in the air pump, the sad and frightened girls and the wild eyes of the quack scientist.’
    • ‘My comments on quack medicine have brought on challenges from some readers.’
    • ‘Among the modern evils to fall under Ince's scrutiny was quack alternative medicine.’
    • ‘The new rule is to regularise the practice of traditional Indian systems of medicine and to prevent quacks.’
    • ‘They are saying they do not want the project to go ahead, full stop, because it is quack medicine.’
    • ‘Actually, much of the licensing and regulation is aimed at protecting the public from frauds and quacks.’
    • ‘As with most quack cure claims about ‘toxins’, the actual toxins were not named.’
    • ‘It is to help those who have fallen for the lies and deceit of quack medicine and pseudoscience.’
    • ‘It helps if you can whip the populace into a panic like some snake oil salesman, then sell them the quack cure.’
    • ‘We should be looking at changing our lifestyles, not stuffing ourselves full of quack medicine.’
    • ‘Depressed by the abundance of absurd claims for quack alternative therapies, he had set up the site as a credulity experiment.’
    • ‘There are food faddists, and quacks in the medical field, and persons who oppose fluoridation of water.’
    swindler, charlatan, mountebank, confidence trickster, fraud, fraudster, impostor, trickster, racketeer, hoaxer, sharper, rogue, villain, scoundrel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British informal A doctor:
      ‘he went to see the quack this morning’
      • ‘In India, this could range from private practitioners, to hospitals, nursing homes, polyclinics, alternative medical practitioners, quacks and pharmacists.’
      doctor, physician, medical practitioner, medical man, medical person, medical woman
      View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century: abbreviation of earlier quacksalver, from Dutch, probably from obsolete quacken prattle + salf, zalf (see salve).

Pronunciation

quack

/kwak/