Definition of ducks and drakes in English:

Share this entry

ducks and drakes


A game of throwing flat stones so that they skim along the surface of water.
Example sentences
  • I would be more concerned about how much longer they will have water to play ducks and drakes on.


play ducks and drakes with

Trifle with; treat frivolously.
Example sentences
  • The oil companies are playing ducks and drakes with the Department and the Minister.
  • If you find Junior playing ducks and drakes, keep your cool.
  • Instead, a writer of fiction is usually the happier for his ignorance, and better for having played ducks and drakes with his cultural opportunities.


Late 16th century: from the movement of the stone over the water.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ducks and drakes

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.