Definition of dead duck in English:

dead duck

noun

informal
  • A person or thing that is useless, unsuccessful, defunct, etc.

    ‘totalitarianism is a dead duck, he says’
    • ‘It would take, so we have been told, just one ‘no’ result in any country to render the EU constitution a dead duck.’
    • ‘I used to work at the fishing in Peterhead, but that's a dead duck now.’
    • ‘Fans of Bush like to point out that the US congress would have never ratified the agreement; that it was, even under Clinton, a dead duck.’
    • ‘I think if we have a repetition of what happened last year in Ireland the thing is a dead duck!’
    • ‘The show sounded promising during auditions and rehearsals, but on screen, turned out to be a complete dead duck.’
    • ‘However, in 1977, when a number of newspapers had questioned whether his team were dead ducks after a barren start to the season, they opted to confront criticism head-on.’
    • ‘‘Many viewed him not just as a lame duck, but a dead duck,’ commented Kenneth Duberstein, who served as his chief of staff, in The New York Times.’
    • ‘The Tories may be dead ducks election-wise but they can still throw a good fundraiser, as they showed last Thursday night in Glasgow when they banked #40,000.’
    • ‘The shadow chancellor told the government to recognise that a referendum on the euro is now a dead duck.’
    • ‘At 175 for eight the game was a dead duck, there for the taking.’
    • ‘If they are going to charge £4.20 to go from Chandler's Ford to Southampton this service could be a dead duck.’
    • ‘If the business community does not want a regional assembly, then perhaps Mr Prescott should declare the idea the dead duck it has been from the start.’
    • ‘That means his manager of government business in the House of Representatives is a dead duck in a week when he will need all the help he can get.’
    • ‘Well, er, it seems that conspiracy's now a dead duck, too.’
    • ‘Some have written off Talk 107 as a dead duck, arguing that a talk format cannot succeed in a transmission area of few more than a million adults.’
    • ‘It is clear that he will come under renewed pressure from within his own party to ensure the issue does not become a dead duck.’
    • ‘There is precious little time between a President's election to a second term, and the point at which he becomes a political dead duck.’
    • ‘But I have to say, if the markets go, the town is definitely a dead duck.’
    • ‘Last week proved that she is not yet a political dead duck.’
    • ‘The age of traditional economic development based on attracting new investment in call centres and similar highly mobile activities is a dead duck.’
    fiasco, debacle, catastrophe, disaster, blunder, vain attempt, abortion, defeat
    View synonyms

Origin

From the old saying “never waste powder on a dead duck.”.

Pronunciation:

dead duck

/ˈded ˌdək/