\ˈdek \

Definition of deck 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a platform in a ship serving usually as a structural element and forming the floor for its compartments

2 : something resembling the deck of a ship: such as

a : a story or tier of a building (such as a sports stadium) the upper deck

b : the roadway of a bridge

c : a flat floored roofless area adjoining a house

d : the lid of the compartment at the rear of the body of an automobile also : the compartment

e : a layer of clouds

3a : a pack of playing cards

b : a packet of narcotics

4 : tape deck

on deck

1 : ready for duty

2 : next in line : next in turn



Definition of deck (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 obsolete : cover

2a : to clothe in a striking or elegant manner : array decked out in furs

b : decorate deck the halls with boughs of hollyEnglish carol

c : to portray or present with embellishments

3 [ 1deck ] : to furnish with or as if with a deck

4 [ 1deck ] : to knock down forcibly : floor decked him with one punch

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Choose the Right Synonym for deck


adorn, decorate, ornament, embellish, beautify, deck, garnish mean to enhance the appearance of something by adding something unessential. adorn implies an enhancing by something beautiful in itself. a diamond necklace adorned her neck decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design. decorate a birthday cake ornament and embellish imply the adding of something extraneous, ornament stressing the heightening or setting off of the original a white house ornamented with green shutters , embellish often stressing the adding of superfluous or adventitious ornament. embellish a page with floral borders beautify adds to embellish a suggestion of counterbalancing plainness or ugliness. will beautify the grounds with flower beds deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness. a house all decked out for Christmas garnish suggests decorating with a small final touch and is used especially in referring to the serving of food. an entrée garnished with parsley

Examples of deck in a Sentence


We stood on the deck and watched dolphins swim near the ship. A number of passengers had come on deck. a seat on the streetcar's top deck a cabin on B deck We sat in the lower deck. We ate out on the deck.


We spent hours decking the chapel with flowers before the wedding. He decked him with one punch.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Every morning, the group gathers on deck to continue their research. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 Even one negative review is a reason to be suspicious, because the clinic may be stacking the deck with fake positive reviews, Rubin says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "10 Tips for Supporting a Friend Who's Getting an Abortion," 7 Nov. 2018 Kylie took a page out of older sister Kim Kardashian-West's stylebook and hit the deck in a fitted black onesie. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Wears Spandex Onesie for Jordyn Woods's Yacht Birthday Celebration," 2 Oct. 2018 The deal resolves all the pending charges against Manafort, effectively clearing the decks for both him and the Mueller investigation, moving the probe into a new phase, and delivering its highest-profile cooperator yet. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Paul Manafort’s flip is a major turning point in the Mueller investigation," 14 Sep. 2018 The 31-year-old is of the opinion that Ronaldo made the most of his challenge, even claiming that the Portugal international is 'prone' to hitting the deck too easily., "Barcelona Star Hits Out at Cristiano Ronaldo for 'Throwing Himself' in Spain/Portugal Thriller," 16 June 2018 But the company did so on its own ground, with its own tools, and with plenty of time to set things up carefully and stack the deck in its favor. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Exclusive: Plume’s new “Superpod” hardware is here—and it’s fast," 12 June 2018 But apologizing in a public setting -- with the obvious dual intent of clearing the decks politically -- isn't the same thing as reaching out to Lewinsky personally to say sorry. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Bill Clinton still gets it wrong on Monica Lewinsky and #MeToo," 4 June 2018 Health, too, has considerable potential to stack the deck against the poor. Cristian Capotescu, Washington Post, "Poor people die younger in the U.S. That skews American politics.," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It's decked out with all of Kobo's advanced e-reader features—an 8-inch 300ppi E Ink display, a waterproof design, and zero advertisements, to name a few—and as a whole, the Forma dutifully showcases what Kobo can add to the US e-book market. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Kobo Forma review: A formidable opponent for Amazon’s Kindle Oasis," 22 Nov. 2018 After all, who wants to be a ghoul when they can be decked out in glamorous couture? Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "This Supermodel’s Couture Halloween Costume Must Be Seen to Be Believed," 30 Oct. 2018 Today, he is decked out in a T-shirt plastered with cosmonauts in different positions — and even a floating cat in a spacesuit. Elizabeth Howell,, "Touring Where the Mars-500 'Astronauts' Pretended to Take a Red Planet Journey," 11 July 2018 Unlike the women in the painting, Beyoncé’s squad wears nude leggings and bras, while she is decked out in diamond earrings and a Burberry check set., "Beyoncé Lets Her Outfits Do The Talking In Everything Is Love's First Video," 17 June 2018 And yes, to those wondering about the rumors, he was decked out in Mizzou gear. Alex Schiffer, kansascity, "This week in Mizzou recruiting: Josh Christopher, Caleb Love, E.J. Liddell and more," 14 June 2018 But the mussels were solid and sometimes the maitre d’ was happily drunk — and at Christmas, he’d be decked out in a red Santa suit. Carolina A. Miranda,, "For Anthony Bourdain, food was just the entry point for a much wider cultural discussion," 8 June 2018 For the occasion, he was decked out in head-to-toe Wang logo, of course. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Alexander Wang's "Immigrant Americana" Runway Included Bandanas, Biker Gear, and Childish Gambino," 4 June 2018 They’re all decked out in Golden Knights gear, waiting to watch their guys skate in circles for about fifteen minutes. Charlotte Wilder,, "Golden Knights' Stanley Cup Run Sheds Light on the Vegas Locals Wish You Saw," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deck.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deck


1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deck


Middle English dekke covering of a ship, from Middle Dutch *dec covering, probably from Middle Low German vordeck, from vordecken to cover, from vor- for- + decken to cover; akin to Old High German decchen to cover — more at thatch


Dutch dekken to cover; akin to Old High German decchen

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Learn More about deck

Statistics for deck

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deck

The first known use of deck was in 1509

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More Definitions for deck



English Language Learners Definition of deck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a flat surface that forms the main outside floor of a boat or ship

: one of the levels on a bus, ship, etc.

: one of the seating levels in a sports stadium



English Language Learners Definition of deck (Entry 2 of 2)

: to decorate (something)

: to knock (someone) down by hitting very hard


\ˈdek \

Kids Definition of deck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a floor that goes from one side of a ship to the other

2 : something like the deck of a ship the deck of a house

3 : a pack of playing cards


decked; decking

Kids Definition of deck (Entry 2 of 2)

: to dress or decorate especially in a fancy way The house is decked out for the holidays.

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More from Merriam-Webster on deck

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deck

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deck

Spanish Central: Translation of deck

Nglish: Translation of deck for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deck for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deck

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having a pattern of small flowers

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