Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

duck - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb duck pronunciation in American English /dʌk/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleducking
past tenseducked
past participleducked
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to lower your head or head and body quickly, in order to move under something or to avoid being hit
    Young children can just duck under the gate and avoid paying.
    He ducked the punch and came up swinging.
  2. 3
    [transitive] to avoid something such as a difficult question, issue, or duty
    Stop trying to duck the issue – who paid you for this?
  3. 4
    [intransitive] to move quickly into or behind something, especially to avoid being seen
    He ducked behind the wall.
    1. a.
      to go quickly into a place for a specific purpose
      Judith ducked under a store awning to get out of the rain.

phrasal verbs


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog