noun de·coy \ˈdē-ˌki, di-ˈ\

: a wooden or plastic bird (such as a duck) that is used by hunters to attract live birds

: a person or thing that attracts people's attention so they will not notice someone or something else

Full Definition of DECOY

:  a pond into which wildfowl are lured for capture
:  someone or something used to lure or lead another into a trap; especially :  an artificial bird used to attract live birds within shot
:  someone or something used to draw attention away from another

Examples of DECOY

  1. He had a decoy distract the guard while he jumped over the fence.
  2. <we set the decoy afloat in the marsh and from the blind waited for the ducks to arrive>

Origin of DECOY

probably from Dutch de kooi, literally, the cage
First Known Use: 1630

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms

chum, covert, creel, flense, pitfall, seine, skulk, spoor, trawl


verb de·coy \di-ˈki, ˈdē-ˌ\

Definition of DECOY

transitive verb
:  to lure by or as if by a decoy :  entice

Examples of DECOY

  1. <tacky souvenir shops to which first-time tourists had been decoyed into spending their hard-earned money>

First Known Use of DECOY


Synonym Discussion of DECOY

lure, entice, inveigle, decoy, tempt, seduce mean to lead astray from one's true course. lure implies a drawing into danger, evil, or difficulty through attracting and deceiving <lured naive investors with get-rich-quick schemes>. entice suggests drawing by artful or adroit means <advertising designed to entice new customers>. inveigle implies enticing by cajoling or flattering <fund-raisers inveigling wealthy alumni>. decoy implies a luring into entrapment by artifice <attempting to decoy the enemy into an ambush>. tempt implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of conscience or better judgment <tempted by the offer of money>. seduce implies a leading astray by persuasion or false promises <seduced by assurances of assistance>.

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms

chum, covert, creel, flense, pitfall, seine, skulk, spoor, trawl
DECOY Defined for Kids


noun de·coy \di-ˈki, ˈdē-ˌki\

Definition of DECOY for Kids

:  a person or thing (as an artificial bird) used to lead or lure into a trap or snare



Definition of DECOY for Kids

:  to lure by or as if by a decoy <Hunters decoyed the ducks to the pond.>


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