Main definitions of quack in US English:

: quack1quack2

quack1

noun

  • The characteristic harsh sound made by a duck.

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

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a duck) make a characteristic harsh sound.

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

quack

/kwæk//kwak/

Main definitions of quack in US English:

: quack1quack2

quack2

noun

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

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

quack

/kwæk//kwak/