There are 2 main definitions of quack in English:

Share this entry

quack 1

Line breaks: quack

noun

The characteristic harsh sound made by a duck: I heard a quack and saw some ducks huddled together
More example sentences
  • But even from the vague hints he throws out, I think we may rest assured it will not be the last quack of a lame duck.
  • This is an interesting link for anyone who was wondering about those duck quacks.
  • I'm sorry to say that it's not true about the quack of a duck.

verb

[no object] Back to top  
1(Of a duck) make a quack: ducks quacked from the lake
More example sentences
  • Yet, in case after case, the chicken always ended up dead, while the duck went happily quacking down the river.
  • We strolled up a steep street, where wild ducks quacked for food outside a shop, and into a quiet garden.
  • Down near the pond, the ducks were quacking at an old couple that was throwing pieces of stale bread at them.
1.1 informal (Of a person) talk loudly and foolishly: he was still quacking about vinyl’s alleged superiority to CDs
More example sentences
  • Ever since Ride the Ducks came to town, I've watched those vessels drive by, its frenzied tourists quacking away.
  • Some of these remedies have been closer to quack concoctions.

Origin

Mid 16th century (as a verb): imitative.

More
  • ‘If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it just may be a duck.’ was the comment made by the US union leader Walter Reuther about the alleged communists investigated by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950s. The quack of a duck, recorded from the mid 16th century, is just an imitation of the bird's characteristic sound. The kind of quack who dishonestly claims to have medical skills was originally a quacksalver, a 17th-century word from Dutch quacken ‘to talk foolishly’ and salf the same word as ‘salve’ (Old English) from a Germanic base meaning ‘clarified butter’.

Words that rhyme with quack

aback, alack, attack, back, black, brack, clack, claque, crack, Dirac, drack, flack, flak, hack, jack, Kazakh, knack, lack, lakh, mac, mach, Nagorno-Karabakh, pack, pitchblack, plaque, rack, sac, sack, shack, shellac, slack, smack, snack, stack, tach, tack, thwack, track, vac, wack, whack, wrack, yak, Zack

Definition of quack in:

Share this entry

 

There are 2 main definitions of quack in English:

Share this entry

quack 2 Line breaks: quack

noun

1A person who dishonestly claims to have special knowledge and skill in some field, typically medicine: [as modifier]: a quack doctor quack cures
More example sentences
  • As with most quack cure claims about ‘toxins’, the actual toxins were not named.
  • An alternative medicine quack reckoned he could cure Faulkner of his twitching with a six-month course of treatment.
  • But why wouldn't they believe the claims of the detox quacks?
Synonyms
British informal twister
North American informal grifter, bunco artist, chiseller
Australian informal shicer, magsman, illywhacker
1.1British informal A doctor: he went to see the quack this morning
More example sentences
  • In India, this could range from private practitioners, to hospitals, nursing homes, polyclinics, alternative medical practitioners, quacks and pharmacists.
Synonyms
doctor, physician, medical practitioner, medical man/woman/person;
Navy surgeon
informal doc, medic, medico
archaic leech, sawbones

Derivatives

quackery

1
Pronunciation: /ˈkwakəri/
noun
Example sentences
  • The Skeptic's Dictionary is a compendium of detailed information about oft-repeated hoaxes, legends and quackery.
  • Why did this quackery get so far before being exposed?
  • Alarm made him listen to all manner of quackery.

quackish

2
adjective
Example sentences
  • Barrett goes on to describe the history of naturopathy and to list some of the quackish practices that have been included in naturopathy.
  • Obviously, Paul, anyone stupid enough to take your quackish advice deserves their outcomes.

Origin

Mid 17th century: abbreviation of earlier quacksalver, from Dutch, probably from obsolete quacken 'prattle' + salf, zalf (see salve1).

More
  • ‘If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it just may be a duck.’ was the comment made by the US union leader Walter Reuther about the alleged communists investigated by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950s. The quack of a duck, recorded from the mid 16th century, is just an imitation of the bird's characteristic sound. The kind of quack who dishonestly claims to have medical skills was originally a quacksalver, a 17th-century word from Dutch quacken ‘to talk foolishly’ and salf the same word as ‘salve’ (Old English) from a Germanic base meaning ‘clarified butter’.

Definition of quack in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources