Main definitions of duck in English

: duck1duck2duck3duck4duck5

duck1

noun

  • 1A waterbird with a broad blunt bill, short legs, webbed feet, and a waddling gait.

    • ‘The duck, whose feet remained free while its feathers stuck to the ice, attracted public sympathy after efforts to free it failed.’
    • ‘Wild birds may carry these infections, but they typically prove most harmful to domestic fowl like chickens, ducks, and turkeys.’
    • ‘Wetlands are a lure for geese, swans, ducks, egrets, storks, herons and the icon of the Camargue, the pink flamingo.’
    • ‘Then Nikolai noticed the heron and the duck waddling up the hill behind Dmitri.’
    • ‘Interesting water birds and several species of ducks and warblers nest there.’
    • ‘Flocks of birds, including large ducks, Egyptian geese and dabchicks, were coated in oil on Wednesday.’
    • ‘Out of the corner of my eye I saw a small duck waddling toward me.’
    • ‘As home, migratory stop and breeding ground, Saskatchewan hosts over 25 percent of the continent's ducks and geese.’
    • ‘The teals, mallards and other small ducks were all paddling about.’
    • ‘In this area, ducks, wading birds, and shorebirds are awaiting your visit.’
    • ‘Then, at the next hole, a duck waddled onto the green just as Love was lining up a putt.’
    • ‘They watched in silence as a pair of ducks waddled across the lawn and waded into the pond.’
    • ‘Geese, ducks, sparrows, and hawks are heading south in numbers.’
    • ‘The rear feet of the beaver are large and webbed like a duck's feet, to give the animal good swimming ability.’
    • ‘There were turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens and guinea fowl on sale.’
    • ‘We stood there in awkward silence, shuffling our feet gawkily like ducks do when they are hungry.’
    • ‘It's not only humans who appreciate the food at this pink-washed cottage opposite Danbury's duck pond - the ducks waddle over for any leftovers.’
    • ‘International cuisine uses the eggs of other birds, including ducks, geese, sparrows, quails and ostriches, but it is the hen that has been universally domesticated.’
    • ‘The Canvasback is a medium-sized duck with an elegant pattern of black, russet, and white.’
    • ‘Birds as diverse as parakeet, egrets, ducks, terns, and plovers were plummeting in numbers.’
    1. 1.1 A duck as food.
      ‘a duck for tomorrow's dinner’
      • ‘The mail-order range has now been extended to include beef, duck, lamb, chicken, pheasant and goose.’
      • ‘Like most of the sauces here, the duck's citrus glaze is notably reserved.’
      • ‘In a heavy, flameproof casserole, cook the sausages and duck in the olive oil until their fat runs and the sausages and duck are golden on all sides.’
      • ‘I'm not trying to suggest that Susie's roast venison or my duck with caramelised apple could be described as a horror show, but neither were they worthy of the setting.’
      • ‘From there it is into the duck, chicken, pork, beef, vegetables and bean curd, rice and noodles.’
      • ‘Season the cavity of the duck with salt and pepper and truss with kitchen string.’
      • ‘Cook the duck until tender, then add the potatoes and onion.’
      • ‘His garlic duck sausage with black mustard is the hot dog of your dreams.’
      • ‘From a nutritional perspective, the duck, cucumber, spring onion and pancakes make a reasonably well-balanced meal.’
      • ‘His duck's sweetness is amplified by roasted rhubarb; snapper's nuttiness is made prominent by a ginger-soy nage.’
      • ‘The bread is perfectly toasted, the duck is perfectly tender, and those waffle chips are scrumptious.’
      • ‘Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan, then sear the duck skin-side down over gentle heat for five to ten minutes or until the skin is crisp, draining off the fat as it renders.’
      • ‘Stir in the date syrup with the lemon juice, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until the duck is tender.’
      • ‘I have the Thai mussels as a starter and they're fabulous - the crispy duck, and deep fried rolls with chilli jam are tasty too.’
      • ‘A small tear trickled down Lisa's face as I savored my duck.’
      • ‘The duck bakes for precisely seven minutes and rests for precisely seven minutes.’
      • ‘The roast duck was good, and so was the grilled lobster, despite a weirdly glowing sidecar of basil mashed potatoes.’
      • ‘Thickly slice the duck and serve it on the parsnip purée, scattered with a little extra thyme.’
      • ‘Add duck meat and season with salt and white pepper to taste.’
      • ‘The duck and chicken I sampled were both flavored with balsamic vinegar, and both were overdone.’
  • 2A pure white thin-shelled bivalve mollusk found off the Atlantic coasts of America.

  • 3An amphibious transport vehicle.

    • ‘The duck boats are still parked in dry dock.’
    • ‘30 tourists were today forced to jump off a burning duck boat into the River Thames as it sank.’
    • ‘Land or sea, this duck does it all.’
    • ‘The duck boats hugged the shore, giving fans an up-close view of the championship trophy and the players.’
    • ‘Today, a ride in a duck does not involve battles!’
    • ‘Winston Churchill was given a guided tour of the D-Day beaches in a duck.’
    • ‘The ducks are fully restored, U.S. Coast Guard approved vessels.’
    • ‘The Los Angeles City Council is floating an idea to bring duck boats to the downtown area of the LA River.’
    • ‘Among the more unusual vehicles contributing to the relief effort a duck boat drafted in to help flooded residents in Windsor today.’

Phrases

  • get (or have) one's ducks in a row

    • informal Get (or have) one's facts straight; get (or have) everything organized.

      • ‘The other board members pay attention if I present my case forcefully, and I can be enough of a pain that they make sure they have their ducks in a row before bringing up any new spending increase.’
      • ‘Normally, financing details of a deal of this magnitude take several months, but Blank got his ducks in a row quickly.’
      • ‘The Europe team, on the other hand, got their ducks in a row in no uncertain terms and are standing tall.’
      • ‘‘You can't get a public fund-raising campaign going if you don't have your ducks in a row,’ he says.’
      • ‘It's naive to think that they'd do anything unless they have their ducks in a row.’
      • ‘‘January is the time to get your ducks in a row,’ advises Liza Mason, a managing partner for Premier Ventures, which owns and operates four high-volume restaurants in Denver.’
      • ‘Another factor pushed them to hurry the project: the need to get their ducks in a row before they ran out of time.’
      • ‘If you are trying to get 100 musicians to play your symphony, you had better have your ducks in a row before you walk into the hall with an armload of scores.’
      • ‘I find it hard to get my ducks in a row at the best of times but today was the first time since about last August that I felt a little in control of life.’
      • ‘The crew worked together to get our ducks in a row as we headed back to the ship.’
  • take to something like a duck to water

    • Take to something very readily.

      ‘he shows every sign of taking to University politics like a duck to water’
      • ‘It was difficult for the students, but I took to it like a duck to water.’
      • ‘He took to it like a duck to water and we have been astonished at his fast progress.’
      • ‘She not only took to it like a duck to water but she went on to become one of the foremost wine professionals in the country.’
      • ‘‘He's only driven a Carrera Cup car once at Snetterton, but he took to it like a duck to water,’ says Mortimer senior.’
      • ‘Donna has been helping out her older brothers since a very young age so she took to it like a duck to water.’
      • ‘I took to the video recorder like a duck to water.’
      • ‘She had only been playing for a few months and took to it like a duck to water.’
      • ‘I've said all along that the long rounds will suit me and I took to them like a duck to water.’
      • ‘Helen took to the dance routine like a duck to water.’
      • ‘‘In those days, there were not many girls doing the pole vault but Kim just took to it like a duck to water,’ he says.’
  • water off a duck's back

    • A potentially hurtful or harmful remark or incident that has no apparent effect on the person mentioned.

      ‘it was like water off a duck's back to Nick, but I'm sure it upset Paul’
      • ‘However, if the intention was to shame him then it failed because my friend told me it seemed to run off him like water off a duck's back.’
      • ‘That's water off a duck's back to a man like Graham, who seven minutes later, saw his side take the lead.’
      • ‘Either way, the woman's unfriendly comments are like water off a duck's back to John.’
      • ‘Today, snobbery about musicals and their hijacking of the worldwide stage is water off a duck's back.’
      • ‘They shed hardships of camp life like water off a duck's back.’
      • ‘Whenever other people came under fire, they tried to deflect it elsewhere, but it's water off a duck's back.’
      • ‘We are used to getting flak from the public over the vehicles we book, so it is water off a duck's back to us.’
      • ‘But the criticism rolls off him like water off a duck's back.’
      • ‘They make it seem as if the war slid off Hemingway like water off a duck's back and have asked us to understand that some of his most admired war stories are not really war stories after all.’
      • ‘It's all water off a duck's back really, but I would like to point out a couple of things.’

Origin

Old English duce, from the Germanic base of duck (expressing the notion of diving bird).

Pronunciation:

duck

/dək/

Main definitions of duck in English

: duck1duck2duck3duck4duck5

duck2

verb

  • 1[no object] Lower the head or the body quickly to avoid a blow or so as not to be seen.

    ‘spectators ducked for cover’
    ‘she ducked into the doorway to get out of the line of fire’
    [with object] ‘he ducked his head and entered’
    • ‘Soaked, I ducked into Rubenstein's Furniture Store to get out of the rain.’
    • ‘Droplets of rain had already fallen, and he quickly ducked into his car to avoid being drenched by the rain.’
    • ‘Avoiding the rain he ducked into a nearby building and fled downstairs to take a covered shortcut to his work area.’
    • ‘She quickly ducked into a corner as the stone fell loudly down the stair case.’
    • ‘I ducked into the first washroom I came across, locked myself in the first stall and clenched my eyes shut, silent sobs making my chest heave.’
    • ‘Thinking quickly, I grabbed Jared by the arm and ducked into the nearest classroom.’
    • ‘Martin followed Rocky out of the classroom, and they ducked into a corner to avoid the mass of students.’
    • ‘She ducked into the shop and pulled the scarf from her head.’
    • ‘She quickly ducked into an open classroom, trying to get a peek at the kid as he left the school.’
    • ‘As they turned around, Cary ducked into a cave to avoid being seen.’
    • ‘Lance ducked into the garage holding a small radio in his hand.’
    • ‘Gusts of wind battered him; he ducked into the office and laid the key on the counter.’
    • ‘I declined politely and then ducked into the nearest shop just to escape him.’
    • ‘Abbey ducked into the bathroom, and I continued on to our classroom.’
    • ‘We ducked into one of the food outlets at the top of the mountain and had a drink, waiting for the rain to subside.’
    • ‘He quickly ducked into the building and ran for the nearest lift.’
    • ‘I ducked into the next room, quickly moving behind the curtain.’
    • ‘Quickly, Nat ducked into his closet, hoping his father might just leave the house soon.’
    • ‘Clark did his best not to shuffle his feet or duck his head.’
    • ‘When one followed me near my own block, I ducked into a bodega for a bottle of water.’
    bob down, bow down, hunch down, hunker down, sit on one's haunches
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1duck out Depart quickly.
      ‘I thought I saw you duck out’
      • ‘He smiled at me quickly before he ducked out of the classroom.’
      • ‘She looks like she ducked out for a quick hit during the performance.’
      • ‘I ducked out to see if Clooney had signed the autograph or if the guy had disappeared.’
      • ‘He thought about ducking out when Barry went to get another round in.’
      • ‘Maeve seemingly needed to use the bathroom, because she ducked out rather quickly.’
      • ‘I got the potato salad all right, and then ducked out the back door and into the dirt parking lot.’
      • ‘The bell rang and I quickly ducked out of the classroom before Miss Hoover could stop me.’
      • ‘He sat up, examined my face, winked, and dressed quickly to duck out of the room for a wash, down the hall.’
      • ‘We ducked out while they weren't looking and hot-footed it home.’
    2. 1.2[with object] Avoid (a blow) by moving down quickly.
      ‘he ducked a punch from an angry first baseman’
      • ‘Cyrus ducked the blow and landed another punch to James' stomach, knocking the wind from him and sending him to the ground again.’
      • ‘He ducked the blow and countered it, his own fist connecting with my jaw and his knee finding its way to my stomach.’
      • ‘The leader ducked the blow and brought the axe around in a sweeping arc straight for Drew's knees.’
      • ‘Nick, in a fit of rage and pain took another swing at Will, who merely ducked the blow.’
      • ‘They will have expected you to duck this punch and instead you let the blow bounce of your granite chin like an errant moth.’
      • ‘I ducked a blow, then kicked someone else away, looking desperately around for the door again.’
      • ‘But he ducked the blow and darted his head back up colliding with Kung's chin.’
      • ‘He ducked a blow from a horseman riding up close to him and then grabbed onto the man's leg.’
      • ‘He barely ducks the bullets as his eyes widen when they fly towards him.’
      • ‘She swung at him two more times and he ducked both of those blows as well.’
      • ‘He ducks a few blows and hits the other person a few times before the fight is called.’
      • ‘My whimpers became wails and I tried to duck his blows.’
      • ‘She ducked the wild blow easily, and Jon stepped in, snatching the boy's stick from him and tossing it into the woods.’
      • ‘I ducked his punch and pulled his feet from underneath him with my feet.’
      • ‘Their jobs can be so tough that at times they even have to duck punches from troublesome beachgoers.’
      • ‘He ducked a decapitating blow and crossed his swords above his head, just in time to block a downward slash.’
      • ‘A friend at school had his eye shot by another lad ‘over something silly’, and Pierre once had to duck bullets from a sniper outside his home.’
      • ‘Then he had to duck a punch that would have detached his jaw.’
      • ‘Kino smiled, laughed, and ducked the blow like he could read the chief's mind.’
      • ‘He ducked one, two blows, before Yenny caught him on the shoulder.’
    3. 1.3informal [with object] Evade or avoid (an unwelcome duty or undertaking)
      ‘a responsibility that a less courageous man might well have ducked’
      [no object] ‘I was engaged twice and ducked out both times’
      • ‘I always thought that schools were places where children were taught to use grown-up equipment properly and it seems to be abrogating educational responsibility to duck out of teaching the right way to handle real javelins.’
      • ‘Whatever else that is, it's hardly ducking responsibility.’
      • ‘But the principle is the same: we cannot duck our responsibilities by saying that the other party took part freely.’
      • ‘It also ducks out of the more difficult questions of how you define what is right in more ambiguous times.’
      • ‘At 18, she ducked out of the limelight, but after several years in retirement, she picked up her skills again.’
      • ‘In fact I hope I don't end up ducking out of saying a name on the phone, too.’
      • ‘Yet the necessary reforms to improve productivity have been ducked by government.’
      • ‘Thank goodness we've ducked out of the dinner party thing.’
      • ‘For the last few years of school life I ducked out of sports altogether by pretending I had singing lessons.’
      • ‘Someone who is ducking responsibility for his own actions is hardly in a strong position to call someone else to account.’
      • ‘And none of this is meant to suggest that the editorial page editor can use the policy to duck responsibility for inaccuracies on the page.’
      • ‘During the treatment there were times when I wanted to duck out.’
      • ‘This low-level approach sought to duck the unwelcome publicity surrounding the sentencing of refuseniks.’
      • ‘Those who duck this obligation ill-serve the country.’
      • ‘And you can understand why she might want to duck out occasionally; aside from the required smoking and drinking, carrying this one-woman show seems pretty demanding.’
      • ‘Sometimes referred to as the ‘master magician’, he was criticised for ducking out of a previous hearing of the committee.’
      • ‘Only the bravery of Sinitsin saw him through an ordeal which many another boxer would have ducked out of long before the end.’
      • ‘Shunning the media and ducking a direct interaction will only cause more damage to the system, if it has not already, with the athletes flopping badly.’
      • ‘She had to duck out of the new Oliver Stone flick ‘Beyond Borders’ because the role of a wartime social worker, opposite Kevin Costner, would have been a bit of a stretch.’
      • ‘Is the closure of Internet chat rooms more about ducking responsibility than child safety?’
      shirk, dodge, evade, avoid, steer clear of, run away from, elude, escape, find a way out of, back out of, pull out of, shun, eschew, miss
      View synonyms
  • 2[no object] Plunge one's head or body underwater briefly.

    ‘I had to keep ducking down to get my head cool’
    • ‘Offenders could be ducked in water.’
    • ‘Players, including William, were ducked under the water and roughly tackled by the opposing side.’
    • ‘It is no more a proper trial than ducking witches used to be.’
    dip, dunk, plunge, immerse, submerge, lower, sink
    View synonyms
  • 3Bridge
    Refrain from playing a winning card on a particular trick for tactical reasons.

noun

  • [in singular] A quick lowering of the head.

    • ‘Then a quick duck brought him under the demon's arm.’

Origin

Middle English: of Germanic origin; related to Dutch duiken and German tauchen dive, dip, plunge also to duck.

Pronunciation:

duck

/dək/

Main definitions of duck in English

: duck1duck2duck3duck4duck5

duck3

(also ducks)

noun

British
  • Dear; darling (used as an informal or affectionate form of address, especially among cockneys)

Origin

Late 16th century: from duck.

Pronunciation:

duck

/dək/

Main definitions of duck in English

: duck1duck2duck3duck4duck5

duck4

noun

  • 1A strong linen or cotton fabric, used chiefly for casual or work clothes and sails.

    • ‘I am interested in dyeing 35 yards of cotton duck for slipcovers for a sofa.’
    • ‘Then, in 1941, the mill again served by producing cotton duck for tents to shelter our soldiers in World War II.’
    • ‘If stripes aren't your style, experiment with other casual fabrics, such as cotton duck, denim, and corduroy.’
    • ‘Sailcloth is a very strong, heavy canvas or duck made in plain weave.’
    • ‘Cut the diaper cover pieces from the yellow cotton duck or broadcloth according to the pattern guidesheet.’
    • ‘Some of them are made of cotton duck.’
    1. 1.1ducks Pants made of duck fabric.

Origin

Mid 17th century: from Middle Dutch doek linen, linen cloth; related to German Tuch cloth.

Pronunciation:

duck

/dək/

Main definitions of duck in English

: duck1duck2duck3duck4duck5

duck5

noun

Cricket
  • A batsman's score of zero.

    ‘out for a duck’
    • ‘Brendan Martin, on debut, was snapped up at first slip off Greg Dowell for nine, and Shaun Lynch was bowled by Dowell for a duck.’
    • ‘As it happened, on the third day no such resurrection occurred and worse, he scored yet another duck.’
    • ‘Ponting, so impressive in the first innings, went for a five-ball duck.’
    • ‘Their last five wickets tumbled for 22 in just under eight overs, with the final four batsmen all making ducks.’
    • ‘This soon became 32 for 4 as both Rahul and Jadeja got ducks.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: short for duck's egg, used for the figure 0 because of its similar outline.

Pronunciation:

duck

/dək/