Definition of duct in English:



  • 1A channel or tube for conveying something, in particular.

    • ‘She composed herself and continued to shuffle quietly to the water duct.’
    • ‘To avoid existing subterranean services such as water and drainage, the duct has to be quite deep, and hence expensive to install.’
    • ‘It could also incorporate a service duct to carry water, gas and so on, across the river which would mean the current bridge would not have to be closed so frequently.’
    • ‘One of its main activities is that of digging trenches for the laying of cable ducts.’
    • ‘The 100-metre-wide expressway would be built with provisions for bullet-train service, power highway, gas grid, canal and cable ducts.’
    • ‘Each of its projects usually requires a lot of materials, from screws to cables to ducts to plates, etc.’
    • ‘Under nearly every square mile of the swamp lie these ducts, though water and vegetation have hidden their scars.’
    • ‘The code does not say anything about the subsurface ducts and cables.’
    • ‘Why could not a duct for telephone cables have been put into the same trench?’
    • ‘The floods might've been ‘common,’ a normal wet season event, if water ducts weren't clogged and drainage systems around Jakarta had been maintained properly.’
    1. 1.1(in a building or a machine) a tube or passageway for air, liquid, cables, etc.
      • ‘The people were infected while walking past the ventilation duct in an alleyway.’
      • ‘Gas had built up and seeped through pipes, drains and cable ducts into the bungalows.’
      • ‘For facilities, that means air intakes, ducts and ventilation points are prime targets.’
      • ‘The doctor conceded that during his 16 years of occupancy, the air ducts of the building have not been cleaned.’
      • ‘It depicts the seedy underbelly of a large building, complete with wires in the air and on the ground, air ducts, tubes, big metal boxes, and other big things that make a lot of noise.’
      • ‘Dedicated horizontal and vertical cable ducts, and floor boxes give flexible access to electrical and data services.’
      • ‘The machine had gone in through the air ducts so it wasn't completely known how to actually get into the hallway, but there wasn't enough time for it to find out.’
      • ‘With their concrete floors, conspicuous air ducts, and metal bridges, they summon the atmosphere of an old industrial building.’
      • ‘Inverted fruit bushels shade the light bulbs that hang down from exposed ventilation ducts on the high ceiling.’
      • ‘In fact it's tucked away on the roof, surrounded by air conditioning ducts and vents.’
      • ‘Its air conditioning system - window walls with glazed ventilation ducts rising from the floor - was noted as particularly progressive by contemporary architectural magazines.’
      • ‘The $5 shelters are inflated and heated by attaching a long tube to the heating ducts or steam vents of buildings.’
      • ‘Contamination of the ventilation ducts by micro-organisms was blamed.’
      • ‘The foot-deep wall also holds a mirrored medicine cabinet and conceals a maze of plumbing, air ducts, and ventilation equipment.’
      • ‘At times there was fuzzy growth on grates of air-conditioning ducts and exhaust tubes from cooktops and laundry dryers.’
      • ‘The fire then spread to the upper floors of the building along the air-conditioning ducts.’
      • ‘Routing the supply ducts from the machine room over unoccupied bathrooms or storage areas provides another 10-point reduction in radiated noise level in occupied spaces.’
      • ‘Above their heads, concealed by ceiling panels, was a space of perhaps 50 centimetres containing pipework, ducts and cables.’
      • ‘The heating ducts may have held fungal spores propagated by bats living in a chimney.’
      • ‘Cable ducts, omitted in the £212 million rebuild, are being inserted next spring to cut broadcasting costs.’
      tube, channel, passage, canal, vessel
      conduit, culvert
      pipe, pipeline, outlet, inlet, flue, shaft, vent, airway
      ductus, ductule, vas, trachea
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2(in the body) a vessel for conveying lymph or glandular secretions such as tears or bile.
      • ‘The digestive enzymes enter the small intestine by way of a duct shared with bile coming from the gallbladder.’
      • ‘He was unable to find any duct from this gland and concluded that none existed.’
      • ‘The respiratory bronchioles, alveolar ducts, and alveoli occupy the space between the core and septal structures.’
      • ‘Allergies to foods can trigger spasms of the gall bladder duct, so you should visit a practitioner who can diagnose any allergies you may have and adjust your diet accordingly.’
      • ‘The stroma consists of fatty tissue and ligaments surrounding the ducts and lobules, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels.’
      • ‘The tumor seemed to originate from the main mammary duct, given its close association with the nipple.’
      • ‘It is filled with nerves, blood vessels and lymph ducts which run through it and connect it to your body, making it part of you.’
      • ‘Thin-walled, artery-like vessels lacking corresponding ducts were scattered throughout the tumor.’
      • ‘This is a transverse view of the epigastrium in a patient with a dilated pancreatic duct.’
      • ‘The urethra and the ejaculatory ducts penetrate the prostate gland.’
      • ‘These structures include the cystic duct, the common hepatic duct, and the inferior border of the liver.’
      • ‘The portion of pancreas had a dilated pancreatic duct but no discrete masses.’
      • ‘It is comprised of a network of ducts, called lymph vessels or lymphatics, and carries lymph, a clear, watery fluid that resembles the plasma of blood.’
      • ‘Here the soft tissue lining the inner ear narrows to form a vessel, the perilymphatic duct.’
      • ‘Cells were not counted if they were in blood vessels, mucous glands, or mucous gland ducts.’
      • ‘As the interlobular and septal ducts are destroyed, ductular proliferation may occur.’
      • ‘The exposed surface of skin is not smooth but creased by flexion folds around skeletal joints, and it is also pitted by openings of hair follicles and sweat gland ducts.’
      • ‘Colic pain is precipitated by spasm of a dilated cystic duct that is obstructed by gallstones.’
      • ‘The biopsy specimen showed a cystic tumor arising from a dilated eccrine duct.’
      • ‘Using this procedure, physicians can view these organs and inject dye into the bile and pancreatic ducts to make them visible by x-ray.’
      tube, channel, passage, canal, vessel
      conduit, culvert
      pipe, pipeline, outlet, inlet, flue, shaft, vent, airway
      ductus, ductule, vas, trachea
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3(in a plant) a vessel for conveying water, sap, or air.
      • ‘To illustrate this point it was found that in stems and petioles of several species of the Umbelliferae, such as celery, the antiserum only labelled a layer of cells that line a system of ducts which ramify throughout the plant body.’
      • ‘Insects cut veins in plants with arborescent resin canals or in plants with laticiferous ducts that do not reticulate.’
      tube, channel, passage, canal, vessel
      conduit, culvert
      pipe, pipeline, outlet, inlet, flue, shaft, vent, airway
      ductus, ductule, vas, trachea
      View synonyms


  • Convey through a duct.

    ‘a ventilation system that must be ducted through the wall’
    ‘a ducted air system’
    • ‘Couple this case with a Zalman ducted CPU fan, and overall fan noise can be kept to a minimum.’
    • ‘It is designed to propel itself by using ducted fans, take pictures, analyze temperature and gas levels, and communicate by voice control.’
    • ‘It will also have more and larger openings in the nose of its body to allow a greater volume of air to be ducted to the radiator and brakes.’
    • ‘The ducting of the main village has been completed for four years and nothing can proceed any further with the proposed removal of the poles until all individual house cables are ducted, with 1.5 or 2 inch piping.’
    • ‘Where the extra space cooling the system provides is needed and can be easily ducted to the area where it is used.’
    • ‘‘Recently in the Columbia accident office, sitting in the meeting room, he said you had a gapfiller sticking up and it ducted hot gas into your wheel well,’ he offered.’
    • ‘Larger air-to-air systems, typically in the range of one to five tons, can be located outside the facility with the cool air ducted through a window or other building opening.’
    • ‘Even worse, some of the air may not be ducted at all.’
    • ‘Supply and return air to and from the ground floor is ducted to diffusers incorporated in and above the light fittings.’
    • ‘Warm, stale air is then ducted out through the ceiling.’
    • ‘This ducts air directly from the atmosphere, mixing it with hydrogen before combustion.’
    • ‘You could dissassemble the duct easily enough and reverse the fan if you wanted to duct cold air into the CPU area.’
    • ‘If instead you have electronic air cleaners in place of a ducted system, follow manual instructions for regular cleaning of filters.’
    • ‘Units are best located in garages or basements or even under the stairs, provided the exhaust air is ducted to the outside, otherwise the motor could overheat.’
    • ‘Many systems are available, but most professionals agree that a ducted air handler dedicated to the cellar is the best way to go.’
    • ‘This appeared to carry water ducted from the hills north of the site, where North Farm now stands, to either the village or the manor house.’
    • ‘I have fully ducted air-conditioning, a swimming pool and bore water.’
    • ‘The windows don't open and the air is filtered and ducted.’
    • ‘Feeder streams come down from the low surrounds of heather, and are nicely ducted under the track.’
    • ‘In temperate climates, many affordable housing providers rely on upgraded bath fans and kitchen range hoods ducted to the outside.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense course or direction): from Latin ductus leading, aqueduct from duct- led from the verb ducere.