follow Dictionary.com

Why is the ninth month called September?

duck1

[duhk] /dʌk/
noun, plural ducks, (especially collectively for 1, 2) duck.
1.
any of numerous wild or domesticated web-footed swimming birds of the family Anatidae, especially of the genus Anas and allied genera, characterized by abroad, flat bill, short legs, and depressed body.
2.
the female of this bird, as distinguished from the male.
Compare drake1 .
3.
the flesh of this bird, eaten as food.
4.
Informal. person; individual:
He's the queer old duck with the knee-length gaiters and walrus mustache.
5.
a playing marble, especially one that is not used as a shooter.
6.
ducks, (used with a singular verb) British Slang. ducky2 .
7.
Cricket Slang.
  1. failure of a batsman to score:
    to be out for a duck.
  2. a player's score of zero:
    to be bowled for a duck.
    Compare goose egg.
Idioms
8.
water off a duck's back, something that has little or no effect:
Our criticisms of his talk rolled off him like water off a duck's back.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English duk, doke, Old English dūce diver, duck; akin to duck2

duck2

[duhk] /dʌk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to stoop or bend suddenly; bob.
2.
to avoid or evade a blow, unpleasant task, etc.; dodge.
3.
to plunge the whole body or the head momentarily under water.
4.
Cards Informal. to play a card lower than the card led.
verb (used with object)
5.
to lower suddenly:
Duck your head going through that low doorway.
6.
to avoid or evade (a blow, unpleasant task, etc.); dodge:
to duck a hard right; to duck an embarrassing question.
7.
to plunge or dip in water momentarily.
8.
Cards Informal. to play a card lower than (the card led).
noun
9.
an act or instance of ducking.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English duken, douken; cognate with German tauchen to dive, ducken to duck
Synonyms
1. bow, dodge. 3. dive, dip, souse.

duck3

[duhk] /dʌk/
noun
1.
a heavy, plain-weave cotton fabric for tents, clothing, bags, etc., in any of various weights and widths.
2.
ducks, (used with a plural verb) slacks or trousers made of this material.
Origin
1630-40; < Dutch doek cloth; cognate with German Tuch

duck4

[duhk] /dʌk/
noun
1.
DUKW.
Origin
1940-45, Americanism; by alteration
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for ducks
  • In their first cricket match, the brothers were both dismissed for ducks.
  • In captivity, domestic ducks come in wildtype plumages, white, and other colours.
  • Some other species, such as ducks, move their chicks away from the nest at an early age.
  • Preferred avian prey includes grebes, alcids, ducks, gulls, coots, egrets and geese.
  • The ducks are divided between several subfamilies listed in full in the anatidae article.
  • The body shape of diving ducks varies somewhat from this in being more rounded.
  • The ducks make a wide range of calls, ranging from whistles cooing, yodels and grunts.
British Dictionary definitions for ducks

ducks

/dʌks/
plural noun
1.
clothing made of duck, esp white trousers for sports

duck1

/dʌk/
noun (pl) ducks, duck
1.
any of various small aquatic birds of the family Anatidae, typically having short legs, webbed feet, and a broad blunt bill: order Anseriformes
2.
the flesh of this bird, used as food
3.
the female of such a bird, as opposed to the male (drake)
4.
any other bird of the family Anatidae, including geese, and swans
5.
(Brit, informal) Also ducks. dear or darling: used as a term of endearment or of general address See also ducky
6.
(informal) a person, esp one regarded as odd or endearing
7.
(cricket) a score of nothing by a batsman
8.
(informal) like water off a duck's back, without effect
9.
(informal) take to something like a duck to water, to become adept at or attracted to something very quickly
Word Origin
Old English dūce duck, diver; related to duck²

duck2

/dʌk/
verb
1.
to move (the head or body) quickly downwards or away, esp so as to escape observation or evade a blow
2.
to submerge or plunge suddenly and often briefly under water
3.
(informal) when intr, often foll by out. to dodge or escape (a person, duty, etc)
4.
(intransitive) (bridge) to play a low card when possessing a higher one rather than try to win a trick
noun
5.
the act or an instance of ducking
Derived Forms
ducker, noun
Word Origin
C14: related to Old High German tūhhan to dive, Middle Dutch dūken

duck3

/dʌk/
noun
1.
a heavy cotton fabric of plain weave, used for clothing, tents, etc See also ducks
Word Origin
C17: from Middle Dutch doek; related to Old High German tuoh cloth

duck4

/dʌk/
noun
1.
an amphibious vehicle used in World War II
Word Origin
C20: from code name DUKW
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ducks

duck

n.

waterfowl, Old English duce (found only in genitive ducan) "a duck," literally "a ducker," presumed to be from Old English *ducan "to duck, dive" (see duck (v.)). Replaced Old English ened as the name for the bird, this being from PIE *aneti-, the root of the "duck" noun in most Indo-European languages.

In the domestic state the females greatly exceed in number, hence duck serves at once as the name of the female and of the race, drake being a specific term of sex. [OED]
As a term of endearment, attested from 1580s. duck-walk is 1930s; duck soup "anything easily done" is by 1899. Duck's ass haircut is from 1951. Ducks-and-drakes, skipping flat stones on water, is from 1580s; the figurative sense of "throwing something away recklessly" is c.1600.

"strong, untwilled linen (later cotton) fabric," used for sails and sailors' clothing, 1630s, from Dutch doeck "linen cloth" (Middle Dutch doec), related to German Tuch "piece of cloth," Danish dug, Old Frisian dok, Old High German tuoh, all of unknown origin.

v.

"to plunge into" (transitive), c.1300; to suddenly go under water (intransitive), mid-14c., from presumed Old English *ducan "to duck," found only in derivative duce (n.) "duck" (but there are cognate words in other Germanic languages, e.g. Old High German tuhhan "to dip," German tauchen "to dive," Old Frisian duka, Middle Dutch duken "to dip, dive," Dutch duiken), from Proto-Germanic *dukjan.

Sense of "bend, stoop quickly" is first recorded in English 1520s. Related: Ducked; ducking. The noun is attested from 1550s in the sense of "quick stoop;" meaning "a plunge, dip" is from 1843.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for ducks

ducks

noun
  1. Dear one; precious •Chiefly British use: Try this one, ducks (1930s+)
  2. A person, especially one thought of as peculiar: hand me the pliers, ducks
Related Terms

have one's ducks in a row


duck

noun
  1. A man; fellow; guy: That duck isn't a critic (1846+)
  2. (also ducks) Dear one; precious; pet; ducky: and his wife, a darling duck of a homebody (1590+)
  3. duck-egg (1868+)
  4. A hospital bedpan (1917+)
  5. An amphibious vehicle, esp a WWII troop carrier designated DUKW 1942, whence the nickname (WWII armed forces)
verb
  1. To move, weave, squat, etc, so as to avoid a blow (1530+)
  2. (also duck out) To evade or escape: He ducked over the wall/ They always felt she was trying to duck work (1896+)
Related Terms

dead duck, fuck a duck, have one's ducks in a row, knee-high to a grasshopper, lame duck, ruptured duck, sitting duck


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with ducks
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for duck

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ducks

12
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with ducks