Definition of decoy noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈdiːkɔɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdiːkɔɪ//
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  1. 1an animal or a bird, or a model of one, that attracts other animals or birds, especially so that they can be shot by people who are hunting them
  2. 2a thing or a person that is used to trick somebody into doing what you want them to do, going where you want them to go, etc. They were smuggled out of the building in a police decoy operation. We need someone to act as a decoy to distract their attention.
  3. Word Originmid 16th cent. (earlier as coy): from Dutch de kooi ‘the decoy’, from Middle Dutch de kouw ‘the cage’, from Latin cavea ‘cage’.

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