There are 5 main definitions of duck in English:

duck1

Line breaks: duck
Pronunciation: /dʌk
 
/

noun (plural same or ducks)

1A waterbird with a broad blunt bill, short legs, webbed feet, and a waddling gait.
More example sentences
  • The rear feet of the beaver are large and webbed like a duck's feet, to give the animal good swimming ability.
  • Wetlands are a lure for geese, swans, ducks, egrets, storks, herons and the icon of the Camargue, the pink flamingo.
  • Then Nikolai noticed the heron and the duck waddling up the hill behind Dmitri.
1.1A female duck. Contrasted with drake1.
More example sentences
  • The other day while walking along the footpath opposite the park I noticed seven or eight drakes surrounding a female duck and her ten ducklings.
  • The female shows the same silhouette but is a brown duck whose crest is often obscured.
1.2A duck as food: [mass noun]: a tangy stew of duck, lamb, and sausage
More example sentences
  • From a nutritional perspective, the duck, cucumber, spring onion and pancakes make a reasonably well-balanced meal.
  • In a heavy, flameproof casserole, cook the sausages and duck in the olive oil until their fat runs and the sausages and duck are golden on all sides.
  • Cook the duck until tender, then add the potatoes and onion.
2A pure white thin-shelled bivalve mollusc found off the Atlantic coasts of America.
  • Genus Anatina, family Mactridae
3 another term for DUKW.
More example sentences
  • The ducks are second world war US-built amphibious vehicles and make a fun change from the traditional open-top bus tour.

Origin

Old English duce, from the Germanic base of duck2 (expressing the notion of 'diving bird').

Phrases

get (or have) one's ducks in a row

North American informal Get (or have) one’s facts straight; get (or have) everything organized: I want to have my ducks in a row before I go in there and confront them
More example sentences
  • If you are trying to get 100 musicians to play your symphony, you had better have your ducks in a row before you walk into the hall with an armload of scores.
  • ‘You can't get a public fund-raising campaign going if you don't have your ducks in a row,’ he says.
  • The other board members pay attention if I present my case forcefully, and I can be enough of a pain that they make sure they have their ducks in a row before bringing up any new spending increase.

like water off a duck's back

Referring to a potentially hurtful remark which has no apparent effect on the person involved: it was like water off a duck’s back to Nick, but I’m sure it upset Paul
More example sentences
  • Whenever other people came under fire, they tried to deflect it elsewhere, but it's water off a duck's back.
  • We are used to getting flak from the public over the vehicles we book, so it is water off a duck's back to us.
  • However, if the intention was to shame him then it failed because my friend told me it seemed to run off him like water off a duck's back.

take to something like a duck to water

Take to something very readily: he shows every sign of taking to University politics like a duck to water
More example sentences
  • I took to the video recorder like a duck to water.
  • Helen took to the dance routine like a duck to water.
  • She not only took to it like a duck to water but she went on to become one of the foremost wine professionals in the country.

Definition of duck in:

There are 5 main definitions of duck in English:

duck2

Line breaks: duck
Pronunciation: /dʌk
 
/

verb

1 [no object] Lower the head or the body quickly to avoid a blow or missile or so as not to be seen: spectators ducked for cover [with object]: he ducked his head and entered
More example sentences
  • Droplets of rain had already fallen, and he quickly ducked into his car to avoid being drenched by the rain.
  • He quickly ducked into the building and ran for the nearest lift.
  • Avoiding the rain he ducked into a nearby building and fled downstairs to take a covered shortcut to his work area.
Synonyms
cower, cringe, shrink, huddle
North American informal scooch
1.1 [with object] Avoid (a blow or missile) by moving quickly: he ducked a punch from an angry first baseman
More example sentences
  • Cyrus ducked the blow and landed another punch to James' stomach, knocking the wind from him and sending him to the ground again.
  • He ducked the blow and countered it, his own fist connecting with my jaw and his knee finding its way to my stomach.
  • But he ducked the blow and darted his head back up colliding with Kung's chin.
1.2 [with object] informal Evade or avoid (an unwelcome duty or undertaking): a responsibility which a less courageous man might well have ducked [no object]: I was engaged twice and ducked out both times
More example sentences
  • Whatever else that is, it's hardly ducking responsibility.
  • Is the closure of Internet chat rooms more about ducking responsibility than child safety?
  • And none of this is meant to suggest that the editorial page editor can use the policy to duck responsibility for inaccuracies on the page.
Synonyms
shirk, dodge, evade, avoid, steer clear of, run away from, elude, escape, find a way out of, back out of, pull out of, shun, eschew, miss;
sidestep, bypass, skirt round, circumvent, give a wide berth to, find a way round, turn one's back on
informal cop out of, get out of, wriggle out of, worm one's way out of
British informal skive, skive off, funk
North American informal cut
Australian/New Zealand informal duck-shove
archaic decline, bilk
2 [with object] Push or plunge (someone) under water, either playfully or as a punishment: Rufus grabbed him from behind to duck him under the surface
More example sentences
  • It is no more a proper trial than ducking witches used to be.
  • Offenders could be ducked in water.
  • Players, including William, were ducked under the water and roughly tackled by the opposing side.
Synonyms
dip, dunk, plunge, immerse, submerge, lower, sink
3 [no object] Bridge Refrain from playing a winning card on a particular trick for tactical reasons: declarer ducked the opening spade lead

noun

[in singular] Back to top  
A quick lowering of the head.
More example sentences
  • Then a quick duck brought him under the demon's arm.

Origin

Middle English: of Germanic origin; related to Dutch duiken and German tauchen 'dive, dip, plunge', also to duck1.

Phrases

duck and dive

British Use one’s ingenuity to deal with or evade a situation: she was all for a bit of ducking and diving, that’s how everyone lived
More example sentences
  • It mostly seeks to duck and dive to avoid taking responsibility for the crass way this country is now managed on our behalf.
  • Take a bit of a chance here and duck and dive a bit there.
  • You see, he may duck and dive, but he cannot escape the fact that the defendants have failed to prove in any shape or form that he acted improperly, or tried to act improperly, in any game.

Derivatives

ducker

noun
More example sentences
  • ‘He may well have been a ducker and diver,’ Adams wrote, ‘a loveable rogue or whatever, but to me he was a football man who knew his job in depth.’
  • A ducker and diver, Milutinovic has not always been able to ride above the waves.
  • My character is a bit of a ducker and diver, but he'd never wish to cause any harm.

Definition of duck in:

There are 5 main definitions of duck in English:

duck3

Line breaks: duck
Pronunciation: /dʌk
 
/
(also ducks)

noun

British informal
Dear; darling (used as an informal or affectionate form of address, especially among cockneys): it’s time you changed, my duck where’ve yer been, ducks!

Origin

late 16th century: from duck1.

Definition of duck in:

There are 5 main definitions of duck in English:

duck4

Line breaks: duck
Pronunciation: /dʌk
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
1A strong linen or cotton fabric, used chiefly for work clothes and sails: cotton duck
More example sentences
  • If stripes aren't your style, experiment with other casual fabrics, such as cotton duck, denim, and corduroy.
  • Cut the diaper cover pieces from the yellow cotton duck or broadcloth according to the pattern guidesheet.
  • I am interested in dyeing 35 yards of cotton duck for slipcovers for a sofa.
1.1 (ducks) Trousers made of duck.

Origin

mid 17th century: from Middle Dutch doek 'linen, linen cloth'; related to German Tuch 'cloth'.

Definition of duck in:

There are 5 main definitions of duck in English:

duck5

Line breaks: duck
Pronunciation: /dʌk
 
/

noun

Cricket
A batsman’s score of nought: he was out for a duck
More example sentences
  • Stillington made major inroads into Harrogate's batting as they dismissed three home batsmen for ducks.
  • I remember that Gundappa Viswanath scored a duck and a century on his Test debut - has anyone else done this?
  • Laker's tally of eight ducks inflicted in that famous match against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956 is the record for a single Test.

Origin

mid 19th century: short for duck's egg, used for the figure 0 because of its similar outline.

Phrases

break one's duck

Cricket Score the first run of one’s innings.
More example sentences
  • In October 2004 they came within one wicket of their inaugural Test victory, against Pakistan at Multan, and earlier this year they finally broke their duck by seeing off their fellow minnows, Zimbabwe, in a two-Test home series.
  • The bloodlust was almost satisfied as the Tasmanian tried to break his duck with a risky run to cover, where Kevin Pietersen pounced and threw and missed the stumps by the length of a rat's tail.
  • He really broke his duck last Sunday, though, a little lucky to survive a run-out chance on his way to 114.
British Make one’s first score or achieve a particular feat for the first time: it was not until injury time that the Dark Blues broke their duck
More example sentences
  • On the other flank, former Halifax winger Oli Marns broke his duck in his seventh game and went on to claim a hat-trick.
  • The 3-1 victory at Lancaster City on Tuesday broke their duck in terms of both goals and points this year.
  • In the midweek game between Tottenham and Manchester City the young Portuguese front man Postiga finally broke his duck and netted his first goal for the club, he then ran to the stand of Spurs fans and threw his shirt into the crowd.

Definition of duck in: