Definition of deck in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dek/


1A structure of planks or plates, approximately horizontal, extending across a ship or boat at any of various levels, especially one of those at the highest level and open to the weather: he stood on the deck of his flagship
More example sentences
  • The play opens on the deck of a ship that is sailing from the north African city of Carthage to the Italian city of Naples.
  • The launchers are installed at a fixed elevation on the upper deck behind the main mast.
  • Adrianna was standing on the forecastle deck near the bowsprit of the ship, staring out at the crashing waves and crystal clear water.
1.1A floor or platform resembling or compared to a ship’s deck, especially the floor of a pier or a platform for sunbathing.
Example sentences
  • The concrete deck forms a platform from which the building rises.
  • It even has its own viewing platform, up a spiral stair to the rooftop deck.
  • Taipei 101 management will open an observation deck on the 89th floor of the building on Jan.19.
1.2A platformlike structure, typically made of lumber and unroofed, attached to a house or other building: they cooked hamburgers on the deck adjoining the living room
More example sentences
  • The wooden deck attached to your house is NOT a good place to barbecue.
  • In some areas a deck attached to a house will be taxed, but if it is separated by even an inch or two it will not.
  • I work in a cozy tiny bright room in the garage and have a clear view of the back of the house to which a large deck is attached.
terrace, balcony, veranda, porch, patio
1.3A level of a large, open building, especially a sports stadium: Jeter hit an enormous home run into the upper deck
More example sentences
  • On the first pitch, Wertz belted the ball into the far reaches of Briggs Stadium's right field upper deck to win the game.
  • Already this season, he has established a SkyDome record with a 491-foot blast into the fifth deck.
  • From the distant seats in the upper deck of Royals Stadium, Brett looked utterly confident.
1.4 (the deck) informal The ground or floor: there was a big thud when I hit the deck
More example sentences
  • It was always going to be a difficult game to officiate given Tyrone's willingness to hit the deck but White punished petulance as well as could have been expected.
  • All I see is the Marines just hit the deck and start shooting.
  • As soon as he hit the deck, Kenny Logan grabbed the ball and raced through the middle to score under the posts.
1.5The flat part of a skateboard or snowboard.
Example sentences
  • With intent, nearly 30 diverse local talents have transformed skateboard decks into art pieces.
  • He has turned skateboard decks into an art form, appealing to art enthusiasts.
  • He managed to get off the bus before me, as I had two bags, my guitar and my skateboard decks to carry.
2A component or unit in sound-reproduction equipment that incorporates a playing or recording mechanism for discs or tapes: the car has cruise control and a tape deck
More example sentences
  • I've done very technically accomplished mixes on home hi-fi equipment - two hi-fi decks and a tape recorder.
  • Sound and Video clips are played in from computer servers rather than Tape machines and record decks.
  • After the recording is finished, the tape rewinds and the deck starts scanning for commercials.
2.1 (decks) another term for turntables. every serious DJ needs a set of decks
More example sentences
  • I was back where I belong - I was back home, behind the decks with a crowd in front of me.
  • She's also a guest DJ at Ibiza Rocks, where Idris Elba takes to the decks.
  • Whenever I'm at a party or round at my mate's houses, I can't help getting on the decks.
3chiefly North American A pack of cards: shuffle the deck
More example sentences
  • The virtual deck of cards is shuffled randomly, and the top cards off the deck are dealt.
  • Intimate Poker is a deck of cards with a range of forfeits specified on each card.
  • Feeling the clasp of a hand on his shoulder Ben turned and could not resist a smile as Jack took out his trademark deck of cards and shuffled it in mid air.
3.1North American informal A packet of narcotics.
Example sentences
  • When it's analysed, they'll find five or six half-chewed decks of heroin.


[with object]
1 (usually be decked) Decorate or adorn brightly or festively: Ingrid was decked out in her Sunday best
More example sentences
  • You got a hint that he was a Wolves supporter from the fact that he wore a golden shirt, his car was decked out in flags… and his hair was dyed gold.
  • Their table is already decked out in the flags of several different countries.
  • This weekend many pubs will be decked out in flags and banners and a growing number of councils are spending a small fortune on celebrations.
decorate, bedeck, adorn, ornament, trim, trick out, garnish, cover, hang, festoon, garland, swathe, wreathe;
embellish, beautify, prettify, enhance, grace, set off
informal get up, do up, tart up
literary bejewel, bedizen, caparison
dress (up), clothe, attire, garb, robe, drape, turn out, fit out, outfit, costume
informal doll up, get up, do up, gussy up, pimp
2 informal Knock (someone) to the ground with a punch.
Example sentences
  • I thought Kent had become timid after Kareem decked him with one punch during his rookie year.
  • When Ford again tried to reach for Grace, she spun away from him, decking him with her elbow and then knocking his feet out from under him with a deft kick.
  • She was breathing hard, and her fists were clenched as if she were ready to deck the first person that got in her way.



clear the decks

see clear.

not playing with a full deck

North American informal Mentally deficient.
Example sentences
  • ‘He was obviously not playing with a full deck,’ Sergeant Petcoff said.
  • Vivaldo quickly deduces that Don Quijote is not playing with a full deck, but continues to converse and question him; curious as to the extent of his delusion.
  • The innkeeper now knew, without a doubt, that his guest is not playing with a full deck and he decides to have some fun and play along.

on deck

On or onto a ship’s main deck: she stood on deck for hours
More example sentences
  • On this occasion, people were sunbathing out on deck while the ship made its way between Ullapool and Stornoway.
  • Bligh orders the ship's doctor, a dying man, to stand on deck despite his illness.
  • My days were spent on deck, working the ship and my nights were spent in Garren's pleasant company.
North American informal3.1 Ready for action or work.
Example sentences
  • I'm back on deck today and ready for return to German class tonight, though I haven't done much revision.
  • And on deck in Salt Lake City is Kevin Peraino, correspondent covering the Smart story for ‘Newsweek’.
  • I don't know how they organize who is on deck for media appearances, but they just have to be better prepared.…
Baseball 3.2 Next to hit in the batting order.
Example sentences
  • Walk rates indeed go down when an elite hitter is on deck - but so do batting and slugging averages.
  • Mickey Rivers was on deck, and the Yanks leadoff hitter had been closely observing Dent the entire time.
  • Rookie center fielder Fred Lynn was on deck and Fisk told him, ‘Freddie, I'm going to hit one off the wall and drive one in.’


Late Middle English: from Middle Dutch dec 'covering, roof, cloak', dekken 'to cover'. Originally denoting canvas used to make a covering (especially on a ship), the term came to mean the covering itself, later denoting a solid surface serving as roof and floor.

  • Originally deck was a material such as canvas that was used as a covering, especially on a ship. By the end of the 15th century it was in use for the platform of planks extending across a ship. A deck-chair was originally used for passengers who wanted to sit on a ship's deck. Because they were foldable, they could be put away if you needed to clear the decks. A double-decker (mid 19th century) was originally a ship with two decks rather than a bus.

    A pack of cards is usually called a deck in the USA, and the term was formerly also British—it is recorded in Shakespeare. The definition in Dr Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755, indicates the idea behind the term: ‘A pack of cards piled regularly on each other’, like the decks of a ship. In the USA a person who is not playing with a full deck is unintelligent. As a verb deck meant ‘to decorate, adorn’, as in ‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly’, from the early 16th century. In the 1940s a new meaning arose in the USA, ‘to knock someone to the ground with a punch’, probably from the naval expression hit the deck, which originally meant ‘jump out of bed for a morning roll call’.

Words that rhyme with deck

beck, bedeck, check, cheque, Chiang Kai-shek, crosscheck, Czech, dreck, exec, fleck, heck, hitech, keck, lek, neck, peck, Québec, rec, reck, sec, sneck, spec, speck, spot-check, tec, tech, Toulouse-Lautrec, trek, wreck

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: deck

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.