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 British 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 blow and came up again.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to force someone’s head under water for a short time, often in rough play
  3. 3
    [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 shop awning to get out of the rain.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to avoid something such as a difficult question, issue, or duty

    Stop trying to duck the issue – who paid you for this?

phrasal verbs



a title used before a man or woman's name as a gender-neutral alternative to Mr, Ms, etc

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


another way of saying congratulations, or that something/someone looks nice or fascinating

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
Macmillan learn live love play