Definition of duct in English:

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Pronunciation: /dʌkt/


1A tube or passageway in a building or machine for air, liquid, cables, etc. leading the air through ducts in the floor ventilation ducts
More example sentences
  • The foot-deep wall also holds a mirrored medicine cabinet and conceals a maze of plumbing, air ducts, and ventilation equipment.
  • Gas had built up and seeped through pipes, drains and cable ducts into the bungalows.
  • The doctor conceded that during his 16 years of occupancy, the air ducts of the building have not been cleaned.
1.1(In the body) a vessel for conveying lymph or glandular secretions such as tears or bile.
Example sentences
  • It is filled with nerves, blood vessels and lymph ducts which run through it and connect it to your body, making it part of you.
  • The stroma consists of fatty tissue and ligaments surrounding the ducts and lobules, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels.
  • Using this procedure, physicians can view these organs and inject dye into the bile and pancreatic ducts to make them visible by x-ray.
1.2(In a plant) a vessel for conveying water, sap, or air.
Example sentences
  • Insects cut veins in plants with arborescent resin canals or in plants with laticiferous ducts that do not reticulate.
  • To illustrate this point it was found that in stems and petioles of several species of the Umbelliferae, such as celery, the antiserum only labelled a layer of cells that line a system of ducts which ramify throughout the plant body.


[with object]
Convey through a duct: a ventilation system that must be ducted through the wall
More example sentences
  • Units are best located in garages or basements or even under the stairs, provided the exhaust air is ducted to the outside, otherwise the motor could overheat.
  • Even worse, some of the air may not be ducted at all.
  • Warm, stale air is then ducted out through the ceiling.



Example sentences
  • The most commonly used classification of invasive breast cancers divides them into ductal and lobular types.
  • The most common type of male breast cancer is invasive ductal carcinoma.
  • Injuries range from minor contusions or lacerations to major ductal injuries and transections that result in the formation of pseudocysts.


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'course' or 'direction'): from Latin ductus 'leading, aqueduct' from duct- 'led', from the verb ducere.

  • Duct comes from Latin ductus meaning both ‘leading’ and ‘aqueduct’ formed from ducere ‘to lead’. The verb has produced numerous words in English including abduct (early 17th century) to lead away; conduct (Middle English) lead with; conduit (Middle English); deduce (Late Middle English) draw a conclusion from something; duke; educate (Late Middle English) ‘lead out’; induce (Late Middle English) lead in; introduce (Late Middle English) bring into (a group etc); produce (Late Middle English) ‘lead forward’; reduce (Late Middle English) bring back; seduce (Late Middle English) lead away (originally from duty, with the sexual sense developing in the M16th); subdue (Late Middle English) ‘draw from below’.

Words that rhyme with duct

abduct, adduct, conduct, construct, destruct, instruct, misconduct, obstruct

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: duct

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