American English

Definition of duck noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(pl. ducks or 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 ducks, 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.
  2. 2[countable] a female duck compare drake
  3. 3[uncountable] meat from a duck roast duck see also lame duck, sitting duck
  4. Idioms
    a dead duck (informal)
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    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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    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 (informal)
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    used to say that something, especially criticism, has no effect on someone or something I can't tell my son what to do; it's water off a duck's back with him.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: duck