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



    BrE BrE//dʌk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dʌk//
    Meat, Cricket, Birds
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  1. 1 (pl. ducks, duck) [countable] a common bird that lives on or near water and has short legs, webbed feet (= feet with thin pieces of skin between the toes) and a wide beak. There are many types of duck, some of which are kept for their meat or eggs. wild ducks duck eggs Every afternoon they went to the park to feed the ducks. Ducks were quacking noisily on the lake. See related entries: Birds
  2. 2 [countable] a female duck compare drake See related entries: Birds
  3. 3 [uncountable] meat from a duck roast duck with orange sauce See related entries: Meat
  4. 4(also duckie, ducks, ducky) [countable, usually singular] (British English, informal) a friendly way of addressing somebody Anything else, duck? compare dear, love
  5. 5a duck [singular] (in cricket) a batsman’s score of zero He was out for a duck. See related entries: Cricket
  6. see also lame duck, sitting duck
    Word Originnoun senses 1 to 3 Old English duce, from the Germanic base of duck in the verb sense (expressing the notion of ‘diving bird’). noun sense 5 mid 19th cent.: short for duck's egg, used for the figure 0 because of its similar outline. noun sense 4 late 16th cent.: from duck, the bird.Extra examples A flock of ducks bobbed near the shore. A rubber duck floated in the bath. In a large saucepan, melt the duck fat. Slice the duck breast and serve. Some species of duck dive for food, while others dabble for plants and insects near the surface. The ducks paddled furiously to grab the bread.Idioms (informal) a plan, an event, etc. that has failed or is certain to fail and that is therefore not worth discussing
    get/have (all) your ducks in a row
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    (especially North American English) to have made all the preparations needed to do something; to be well organized The company has its ducks in a row for a move into the Asian market. Get your ducks in a row before you retire.
    (take to something) like a duck to water
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    (to become used to something) very easily, without any problems or fears She has taken to teaching like a duck to water.
    (like) water off a duck’s back
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    (informal) used to say that something, especially criticism, has no effect on somebody/something I can't tell my son what to do; it's water off a duck's back with him.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: duck