Dictionary: DUC'AT – DUC-TIL'I-TY

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DUC'AT, n. [from duke.]

A coin of several countries in Europe, struck in the dominions of a duke. It is of silver or gold. The silver ducat is generally of the value of four shillings and sixpence sterling, equal to an American dollar or to a French crown, and the gold ducat of twice the value. – Encyc.

DUC-A-TOON', n. [Fr. ducaton; Sp. id.; from ducat.]

A silver coin, struck chiefly in Italy, of the value of about four shillings and eight pence sterling, or nearly 104 cents. The gold ducatoon of Holland is worth twenty florins. – Encyc.

DUCH'ESS, n. [Fr. duchesse, from duc, duke.]

The consort or widow of a duke. Also, a lady who has the sovereignty of a duchy.

DUCH'Y, n. [Fr. duché.]

The territory or dominions of a duke; a dukedom; as, the duchy of Lancaster. – Blackstone.


The court of the duchy of Lancaster in England.

DUCK, n.1 [Sw. duk, a cloth; Dan. duug; G. tuch; D. doek; allied perhaps to L. toga, and to tego, to cover, or texo, to weave.]

A species of coarse cloth or canvas, used for sails, sacking of beds, &c.

DUCK, n.2 [from the verb, to duck.]

  1. A water fowl, so called from its plunging. There are many species or varieties of the duck, some wild, others tame.
  2. An inclination of the head, resembling the motion of a duck in water. – Milton.
  3. A stone thrown obliquely on the water, so as to rebound; as in duck and drake. – Johnson. DUCK, n3. [Dan. dukke, a baby or puppet.] A word of endearment or fondness. – Shak.

DUCK, v.i.

  1. To plunge into water and immediately withdraw; to dip; to plunge the head in water or other liquid. In Tiber ducking thrice by break of day. – Dryden.
  2. To drop the head suddenly; to bow; to cringe. Duck with French nods. Shak.

DUCK, v.t. [G. ducken, and tauchen; D. duiken, pret. dock, to stoop, dive, plunge. Qu. Sax. theachan, to wash, and its alliance to tingo and dye. Class Dg.]

  1. To dip or plunge in water and suddenly withdraw; as, to duck a seaman. It differs from dive, which signifies to plunge one's self, without immediately emerging.
  2. To plunge the head in water and immediately withdraw it; as, duck the boy.
  3. To bow, stoop, or nod.


A plunger; a diver; a cringer.

DUCK'ED, pp.

Plunged; dipped in water.


The act of plunging or putting in water and withdrawing. Ducking is a punishment of offenders in France, and among English seamen, it is a penalty to which sailors are subject on passing, for the first time, the equator or tropic.

DUCK'ING, ppr.

Plunging; thrusting suddenly into water and withdrawing; dipping.


A stool or chair in which common scolds were formerly tied and plunged into water. – Blackstone.


Having short legs, like a duck. – Dryden.


A young duck. – Ray.


The popular name of several species of Lamna, plants growing in ditches and shallow water, and serving for food for ducks and geese. The starry duck's-meat is a species of Callitriche. – Fam. of Plants.

DUCK'OY, n. [See DECOY.]


The popular name of a plant, the Podophyllum; called also May-apple. – Fam. of Plants.


The same as Duck-meat.

DUCT, n. [L. ductus, from duco, to lead. See Duke.]

  1. Any tube or canal by which a fluid or other substance is conducted or conveyed. It is particularly used to denote the vessels of an animal body, by which the blood, chyle, lymph, &c., are carried from one part to another, and the vessels of plants in which the sap is conveyed.
  2. Guidance, direction. [Little used.] – Hammond.

DUC'TILE, a. [L. ductilis, from duco, to lead.]

  1. That may be led; easy to be led or drawn; tractable; complying; obsequious; yielding to motives, persuasion, or instruction; as, the ductile minds of youth; a ductile people. – Philips. Addison.
  2. Flexible; pliable. The ductile rind, and leaves of radiant gold. – Dryden.
  3. That may be drawn out into wire or threads. Gold is the most ductile of the metals.
  4. That may be extended by beating.


In a ductile manner.


The quality of suffering extension by drawing or percussion; ductility. – Donne.


  1. The property of solid bodies, particularly metals, which renders them capable of being extended by drawing without breaking; as, the ductility of gold, iron, or brass.
  2. Flexibility; obsequiousness; a disposition of mind that easily yields to motives or influence; ready compliance. – Roscoe.