Definition of sucker in English:



  • 1A person or thing that sucks, in particular.

    • ‘Farmers in both Cameroon and Nigeria are willing to pay for the clean, improved suckers.’
    • ‘Water sprouts or suckers should be cut out at any time that it is proven by their growth to be such.’
    • ‘Municipal workers using a single generator and four honey suckers averted a major sewage spill here at the weekend, mayoral spokesperson Matthew Moonieya said last night.’
    • ‘I would like an explanation on why a meticulous man who removes his glasses would leave cardiogram suckers on his chest.’
    • ‘They have pointy claws instead of suckers!’
    • ‘In 1953 he developed a lightweight, foot-operated sucker.’
    1. 1.1A flat or concave organ enabling an animal to cling to a surface by suction.
      • ‘The male blanket octopus recently photographed by researchers was shown to clutch tentacle segments in his suckers, said Tregenza.’
      • ‘Like their cousins, they are hermaphroditic, but unlike them, they do not regenerate if cut up; they are more specialized, having suckers at their tail ends.’
      • ‘Hillstream loaches have flattened bodies and utilize suckers, permanently clinging to rock faces so they are not swept downstream.’
      • ‘If an octopus is induced to attach its suckers to an object covered with a thin coating of dental impression wax, impressions of the suckers in the wax can be observed on the surface of the object.’
      • ‘The head of an adult male is often heavily marked with circular scars from encounters with squid suckers.’
      • ‘For example, an echinostome is named for the spines that surround the oral sucker.’
      • ‘The squid's tentacles are armed with suckers, each ringed with tiny teeth to help snare prey.’
      • ‘The lagomorph's ears twitched as six black tentacles covered in suckers and small spines came bursting from its ears.’
      • ‘Our analysis confirms that members of the Luidiidae and Astropectinidae (order Paxillosida) lack suckers on the tips of their pointed tube feet.’
      • ‘An oral sucker was identified, as was a ventral sucker.’
      • ‘What are the implications of the physical properties of water for suction attachment in octopus suckers?’
      • ‘Belemnites also possessed hooks rather than suckers on their tentacles.’
      • ‘A nautilus does not have suckers on its tentacles like an octopus does.’
      • ‘When a live starfish is turned over hundreds of tube feet ending in suckers are seen.’
      • ‘The suckers are attached to the arms by a series of extrinsic muscle bundles.’
      • ‘At the tapeworm's anterior end is a specialized segment called a scolex, which is usually covered with hooks or suckers and serves to anchor it to the host.’
      • ‘A gecko in the hand feels cool and its broad, padded feet cling to skin like delicate suckers.’
      • ‘The end of the tube feet have suckers, which chemically adhere to the substrate.’
      • ‘Some bufonids lay eggs on leaves above water, and a few species have tadpoles that live in torrential streams and have suckers on their bellies, which they use to attach themselves to the substrate.’
      • ‘The tube feet of ophiuroids lack suckers and ampullae.’
    2. 1.2The piston of a suction pump.
      • ‘This sucker ran on a shaft drive. Turning the pedals turned an eccentric cam just above the bottom bracket, which then turned a shaft drive that lead down to the rear wheel, where another cam converted this to rotational motion.’
      • ‘Once the sucker is attached to an object, any force that pulls the sucker away from the surface tends to lift the piston.’
    3. 1.3A pipe through which liquid is drawn by suction.
      • ‘We are one of the most professional suppliers of casing, tubing, line pipe, sucker rod and other oilfield equipment in China.’
      • ‘Uncle Roy had made the cages himself from pipe and sucker rod left over from oil wells.’
  • 2informal A gullible or easily deceived person.

    • ‘If someone has humiliated you, you pass on the victimization to the next sucker.’
    • ‘No, I am not saying that these three popular role models, who were exploited by Home Trade to make suckers out of the common man, must be punished for their silly mistake.’
    • ‘And while the suckers who paid thousands of pounds for tickets on the internet might not feel they got their money's worth, almost everyone else leaves pretty satisfied.’
    • ‘They have played conservatives like suckers by putting forward conservative nominees to get us all excited, but then they haven't lifted a finger to effectively work to get them confirmed.’
    • ‘I do feel sorry for the poor suckers who bought the book in the airport bookstore who think they are getting a book about blogs when they are actually getting a typical piece of right wing rubbish.’
    • ‘The price has little more than a nodding acquaintance with the actual value; the only thing that matters is what the next sucker in line is willing to pay.’
    • ‘The answer, of course, is that they're hoping to find some suckers who will pay $9 for 25 minutes of broadcast TV.’
    • ‘To all those of you who have to wake up before the sun begins to even peep out on Monday, all I can say is, when I stumble out of bed late to get my morning cuppa tea, I will think of you all… suckers!’
    • ‘Don't feel sorry for the suckers of the pool world.’
    • ‘I'm not a capitalist pig, but martyrs are suckers.’
    • ‘I know a few people who are new age suckers, whom I consider gullible fools because they believe anything they are told.’
    • ‘It was one of the suckers who fell for the federal government advertising campaign for superannuation, where, if you put in a thousand dollars the federal government will match it dollar for dollar.’
    • ‘Not only do these right-wing radicals vote against their own economic interests, Frank argues, they're suckers, too.’
    • ‘The gullible sucker actually plunks down money for an ‘outfit’ of software and seed emails.’
    • ‘People who would either forsake government aid if possible, or volunteer their time to create non-state charitable institutions, are liable to be considered suckers.’
    • ‘Yes, someone made it up solely for the purpose of trying to see how many gullible suckers they can con into forwarding it.’
    • ‘But to these mercenaries sacrifice is for suckers.’
    • ‘Only fools, suckers, and outsiders play fair.’
    • ‘As I sat in that neutral grey temple of bureaucracy wishing I'd brought whoopee cushions, it occurred to me that we are complete suckers for Big Ideas that take the human beings out of democracy.’
    • ‘Apart from these more obvious venues to avoid, it can be difficult to know whether or not a particular establishment is serious about wine or just trying to make a quick buck off unsuspecting suckers.’
    fool, simpleton, innocent, dupe, gull
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A person particularly susceptible to or fond of a specified thing.
      ‘I always was a sucker for a good fairy tale’
      • ‘Your editor begins by disclosing a prejudice: he is a sucker for real estate.’
      • ‘I'm always a sucker for books that purport to explain how the world - or at least how America - works.’
      • ‘I'm always a sucker for a good horn section, so the trombone, trumpet and sax were a welcome sight and sound.’
      • ‘I must admit up front that I have always been a sucker for this film.’
      • ‘I'm always a sucker for these kind of movies, with innocent, dreamy teenagers wandering around in orange sunlight, seeking some sort of self-discovery.’
      • ‘We all agreed that there is always that one girl who you are always a sucker for.’
      • ‘I've always been a sucker for this type of thing.’
      • ‘Then again, I always was a sucker for Churchill.’
      • ‘I will always be a sucker for float-fishing, having been reared on the art.’
      • ‘I've always been a sucker for game collections but this one surprised me when it arrived.’
      • ‘Always a sucker for shellfish, I chose king prawns in a Mediterranean sauce as a starter at £5.’
      • ‘She was always a sucker for a good martial artist but wasn't about to let that slip just yet.’
      • ‘I've always been a sucker for yam - it's a lovely, bready, fibrous vegetable a little like a well-cooked potato.’
      • ‘I admit it, I'm always a sucker for these tongue-in-cheek uses of Indian mythology for product advertising.’
      • ‘I've always been a sucker for a good sense of humor and turn of phrase; that can cover many flaws.’
      • ‘I've always been a sucker for film-makers who shake up the snow globe of my so-called life.’
      • ‘But heck, I've always been a sucker for an accent.’
      • ‘Always a sucker for a bit of cream cheese and smoked salmon I was delighted to discover the basil seasoning added some extra taste sensations to the panini.’
      • ‘The cinematography was beautiful and I am always a sucker for pretty pictures.’
      • ‘I'm always a sucker for plot in this type of movie and for once it wasn't completely superficial and full of holes.’
      minion, lackey, flunkey, hireling, subordinate, servant, retainer, vassal
      View synonyms
  • 3North American informal A thing or person not specified by name.

    ‘he's one strong sucker’
    • ‘Right, so after one of these suckers and only one, on account of the moderate alcohol consumption as dictated by the party poopers, some tension is alleviated.’
    • ‘If the woman had let me drive a nail - that's right, I wasn't allowed to drive the nails - it wouldn't have taken two hours to get those suckers on the wall.’
    • ‘One Scottish scrum disintegrated completely and the Springboks are not noted for giving a sucker an even break.’
    enthusiast, fanatic, maniac, addict
    View synonyms
  • 4Botany
    A shoot springing from the base of a tree or other plant, especially one arising from the root below ground level at some distance from the main stem or trunk.

    • ‘Keep root suckers, growths from the base of the tree, removed at all times.’
    • ‘Grafted roses can put out suckers from the rootstock below the bud union.’
    • ‘Root suckers can be a nuisance, but most gardeners consider them a minor one.’
    • ‘The vitex, too, can produce water sprouts, or vigorous vertical growths from larger branches and root suckers from the base of the tree.’
    • ‘Black raspberries do not produce root suckers as do red raspberries.’
    side shoot, shoot, sucker, tendril, runner, scion, slip, offset, sprout, sprig, stem, twig, branch, bough, limb, spur
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1A side shoot from an axillary bud, as in tomato plants.
      • ‘It sounds as if your mother plant has produced suckers while the fruit has been developing and ripening.’
      • ‘If your original plant is healthy and has produced suckers while the fruit has been developing and ripening, a sucker may produce a second fruit.’
      • ‘From now on I'll remove any suckers that appear as they'll only draw away the plant's energy from the important matter of producing fruit.’
      • ‘They suffer little from disease and spread (some wilfully) by throwing up new suckers or shoots each year, forming a bristly, neat thicket.’
      • ‘Many plants, such as strawberries, reproduce both sexually by seeds and also by putting out suckers that produce plants that are simply extensions of the parent plant.’
  • 5A freshwater fish with thick lips that are used to suck up food from the bottom, native to North America and Asia.

    • ‘Looking close, I could see five suckers and two big brook trout.’
    • ‘The tribes, whose treaties guaranteed them the right to harvest sucker and salmon in perpetuity, filed lawsuits demanding protection for the fish.’
    • ‘Some of the common fish species include the freshwater drum, sheepshead, lake sturgeon, spotted suckers, common red-horse, and pumpkinseed.’
    • ‘Biologists considered the sucker a common fish only 30 years ago, but it has experienced a sharp decline and now is absent from 75 percent of its historic range.’
    • ‘You have the fish - your piranha, your suckers, your blowfish, your sharks, your bottom feeders, your overpriced tuna.’
  • 6North American informal A lollipop.

    • ‘Her mother went around their hometown of Waterford, Mich., selling chocolate suckers to help fund Jean's first luge camp when she was a teenager.’
    • ‘Usually places like this had little sucker candies in bowls on the front desk.’
    • ‘A bag of suckers, chocolate cupcakes, caramels, jawbreakers and licorice all went into the bag first.’
    • ‘They continued until they got to the front desk where the receptionist gave them suckers, which they sucked on noisily.’
    • ‘I'm only going to fill out your patient survey if you've got a strawberry-flavored sucker with my name on it!’


  • 1Botany
    [no object] (of a plant) produce suckers.

    ‘it spread rapidly after being left undisturbed to sucker’
    • ‘I planted it as a windbreak, but now it has started to run wild, suckering, expanding and blocking out all other plants in its path.’
    • ‘Aspens aren't the only trees that propagate through root suckering.’
    • ‘Being a triploid, having three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two, it is sterile and reproduces by suckering, which precludes any genetic diversity.’
    • ‘Celastrus orbiculatus can spread vegetatively by root suckering, and A. altissima spreads rhizomatously, forming extensive clones.’
    • ‘Jones and Raynal found no relationship between root suckering and beech bark disease infection as long as the parent tree was still alive, therefore, it is not likely that the disease is the cause of the clonality observed at this site.’
  • 2North American informal [with object] Fool or trick (someone)

    ‘they got suckered into accepting responsibility’
    • ‘Eight o'clock came by too quickly and somehow I was suckered into leading Todd to his room before I could head off to my own.’
    • ‘With 400 people spilling off the sidewalk, I was suckered into working the door for a quick 50 bucks and all the cases of beer I could confiscate.’
    • ‘‘We were all suckered into it,’ Mr. Gephardt said.’
    • ‘Using crocodile tears and empty promises of true love, Trudy plays Norval like a violin, suckering him into her and Emmy's sly scenario.’
    • ‘Nor will he be suckered into thinking that England will be beaten handily today, despite every bookmaker's odds pointing very firmly to an Irish victory.’
    • ‘Every time I hear of someone being suckered by such a scam I wonder how they could possibly be fooled, as I seem to get between 20 to 30 of these emails every day - which has to make you a little suspicious.’
    • ‘He didn't say it didn't work as well as doctors thought it did or as well as patients were suckered into believing it did by the grasping medical establishment.’
    • ‘That's why I was suckered into entering one of those Readers' Digest prize draws - you know, the ones that tantalise you for months, getting you to fill in this and that, tear off this bit, post this bit back.’
    • ‘It sure looks as if he's faking ignorance to try to sucker her into making some outlandish claim about how the memo was a Democratic plant.’
    • ‘When it comes to Hollywood, nothing screams capitalism like making a sequel that doesn't need to be made, except to sucker a few people into buying the DVD.’
    • ‘As the title suggests, Howard is a bounder through and through, pathologically compelled to lie, cheat and deceive, suckering men and women alike, all of whom fall for his suave manner and Savile Row suits.’
    • ‘How much more can those 55 million people take before they sucker us in for the final treatment.’
    • ‘He had the patience to lose the first three to sucker me in for the last one.’
    • ‘She's one of those people who claims psychic ability, but has never proven anything more than a talent to sucker people into believing that she has a supernatural gift of some kind.’
    • ‘Small children are suckered into purchasing your snacks on a daily basis - is this a safe product for them?’
    • ‘For every successful romantic liaison on the Internet I bet there are a dozen horror stories of people being suckered in, only to be abruptly rejected when they've served their purpose.’
    • ‘How did we get suckered by the fairy tale that as long as people kept shopping, the market could keep our prosperity going as far as the eye could see?’
    • ‘The guy was obviously suckered by the promise of an easy $200,000 (like all other Nigerian scam victims) and tossed any skepticism right out the window.’
    • ‘They are suckering people like nobody's business.’
    • ‘True to his word, Matt accepted some invitation for us to attend some awards show and somehow I was suckered into presenting an award.’