Definition of


  1. (noun, animal) small wild or domesticated web-footed broad-billed swimming bird usually having a depressed body and short legs
  2. (noun, artifact) a heavy cotton fabric of plain weave; used for clothing and tents
  3. (noun, food) flesh of a duck (domestic or wild)
  4. (noun, quantity) (cricket) a score of nothing by a batsman
  5. (verb, communication) avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
    she skirted the problem
    They tend to evade their responsibilities
    he evaded the questions skillfully
  6. (verb, motion) to move (the head or body) quickly downwards or away
  7. (verb, motion) submerge or plunge suddenly
  8. (verb, motion) dip into a liquid

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Duck

  1. O.E. duce (found only in gen. ducan) "a duck," lit. "a ducker," presumed to be from O.E. *ducan "to duck" (see duck (v.)), replaced O.E. ened as the name for the bird, this being from PIE *aneti-, the root of the "duck" noun in most I.E. languages. As a term of endearment, attested from 1580s. duck-walk is 1930s; duck soup "anyth… more
  2. "strong, untwilled linen (later cotton) fabric," used for sails and sailors' clothing, 1640, from Du. doeck "linen cloth," related to Ger. Tuch "piece of cloth." more
  3. "to plunge into" (trans.), c.1300; to suddenly go under water (intrans.), mid-14c., from presumed O.E. *ducan "to duck," found only in derivative duce (n.) "duck" (but there are cognate words in other Germanic languages, cf. Ger. tauchen "to dive"), from P.Gmc. *dukjan. Sense of "bend, stoop quickly" is first recorded in English 1520s. Related: Du… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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