Main definitions of quack in English

: quack1quack2

quack1

noun

  • The characteristic harsh sound made by a duck.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As we took off, I could hear a faint quack of relief from Archie's new acquaintances.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 heard a thump and a quack, and guessed that he'd run into the wall (head first, as usual).’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1(of a duck) make a characteristic harsh sound.

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

/kwæk//kwak/

Main definitions of quack in English

: quack1quack2

quack2

noun

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

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