hit the deck


a floorlike surface wholly or partially occupying one level of a hull, superstructure, or deckhouse, generally cambered, and often serving as a member for strengthening the structure of a vessel.
the space between such a surface and the next such surface above: Our stateroom was on B deck.
any open platform suggesting an exposed deck of a ship.
an open, unroofed porch or platform extending from a house or other building. Compare sun deck.
any level, tier, or vertical section, as of a structure or machine.
flight deck ( def 2 ).
a flat or nearly flat watertight surface, as at the top of a French roof.
a floor or roof surface composed of decking units.
Meteorology. cloud deck. See cloud layer.
Slang. a small packet of a narcotic, especially heroin.
a pack of playing cards.
Printing. bank3 ( def 8 ).
Also called rear deck. the cover of a space behind the backseat of an automobile or the space itself.
Library Science. a level of book shelving and associated facilities in the stacks of a library, as one of a series of floors or tiers.
a cassette deck or tape deck.
Civil Engineering. (of a bridge truss) having a deck or floor upon or above the structure. Compare through ( def 22 ).
verb (used with object)
to clothe or attire (people) or array (rooms, houses, etc.) in something ornamental or decorative (often followed by out ): We were all decked out in our Sunday best. The church was decked with holly for the holiday season.
to furnish with a deck.
Informal. to knock down; floor: The champion decked the challenger in the first round.
clear the decks,
to prepare for combat, as by removing all unnecessary gear.
to prepare for some activity or work, as by getting rid of hindrances.
hit the deck, Slang.
Nautical. to rise from bed.
to fall, drop, or be knocked to the ground or floor.
on deck,
Baseball. next at bat; waiting one's turn to bat.
Informal. next in line; coming up; scheduled.
Informal. prepared to act or work; ready.
play with/have a full deck, Slang. to be sane, rational, or reasonably intelligent: Whoever dreamed up this scheme wasn't playing with a full deck.
stack the deck. stack ( def 24 ).

1425–75; (noun) late Middle English dekke material for covering < Middle Dutch dec covering, roof; (v.) < Dutch dekken to cover; cognate with German decken; cf. thatch

undecked, adjective

17. bedeck, garnish, trim, bedizen, adorn, embellish; dress.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
deck (dɛk)
1.  nautical any of various platforms built into a vessel: a promenade deck; the poop deck
2.  a similar floor or platform, as in a bus
3.  a.  the horizontal platform that supports the turntable and pick-up of a record player
 b.  See tape deck
4.  chiefly (US) a pack of playing cards
5.  obsolete computing Also called: pack a collection of punched cards relevant to a particular program
6.  a raised wooden platform built in a garden to provide a seating area
7.  informal clear the decks to prepare for action, as by removing obstacles from a field of activity or combat
8.  informal hit the deck
 a.  to fall to the floor or ground, esp in order to avoid injury
 b.  to prepare for action
 c.  to get out of bed
9.  (often foll by out) to dress or decorate
10.  to build a deck on (a vessel)
11.  slang to knock (a person) to the floor or ground
[C15: from Middle Dutch dec a covering; related to thatch]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-15c., probably aphetic of M.L.G. verdeck, a nautical word, from ver- "fore" + decken "to cover, put under roof," from P.Gmc. *thackjam (related to thatch), from PIE *(s)tog-/*(s)teg- "cover" (see stegosaurus). Sense extended early in
English from "covering" to "platform of a ship." "Pack of cards" is 1590s, perhaps because they were stacked like decks of a ship. The verb sense of "knock down" is first recorded c.1953, probably from notion of laying someone out on the deck. Deck chair (1884) so called because they were used on ocean liners. Tape deck (1949) is in ref. to the flat surface of old reel-to-reel tape recorders.

"adorn" (as in deck the halls), c.1500, from M.Du. dekken "to cover," from the same P.Gmc. root as deck (n.). Replaced O.E. þeccan.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

deck definition

  1. tv.
    to knock someone to the ground. : Fred decked Bob with one blow.
  2. n.
    a pack of cigarettes. : Can you toss me a deck of fags, please?
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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hit the deck definition

  1. tv.
    to get out of bed. : Come on, hit the deck! It's morning.
  2. tv.
    to fall down; to drop down. : I hit the deck the minute I heard the shots.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

hit the deck

Also, hit the dirt. Fall to the ground, usually for protection. For example, As the planes approached, we hit the deck, or We heard shooting and hit the dirt. In the early 1900s the first expression was nautical slang for "jump out of bed," or "wake up," and somewhat later, "get going." The current meaning dates from the 1920s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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