1

decoy

noun de·coy \ ˈdē-ˌkȯi , di-ˈ \

Definition of decoy

1 hunting :a pond into which wildfowl are lured for capture
2 :someone or something used to lure or lead another into a trap
  • the commander of that sub … took us to be a decoy
  • —H. A. Chippendale
; especiallyhunting :an artificial bird used to attract live birds within shot
3 :someone or something used to draw attention away from another
  • had a decoy distract the guard

Examples of decoy in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of decoy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of decoy

probably from Dutch de kooi, literally, the cage

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms


2

decoy

verb de·coy \ di-ˈkȯi , ˈdē-ˌ \

Definition of decoy

transitive verb
hunting
:to lure by or as if by a decoy :entice
  • decoying ducks to a pond
  • The undercover cop decoyed the fugitive into a trap.

Examples of decoy in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of decoy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of decoy

see 1decoy

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


DECOY Defined for English Language Learners

decoy

noun

Definition of decoy for English Language Learners

  • : 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


DECOY Defined for Kids

1

decoy

noun de·coy \ di-ˈkȯi , ˈdē-ˌkȯi \

Definition of decoy for Students

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

2

decoy

verb

Definition of decoy for Students

decoyed; decoying
:to lure by or as if by a decoy
  • Hunters decoyed the ducks to the pond.


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