decoy

noun
de·​coy | \ ˈdē-ˌkȯi How to pronounce decoy (audio) , di-ˈkȯi How to pronounce decoy (audio) \

Definition of decoy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 especially, hunting : 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

decoy

verb
de·​coy | \ di-ˈkȯi How to pronounce decoy (audio) , ˈdē-ˌkȯi How to pronounce decoy (audio) \
decoyed; decoying; decoys

Definition of decoy (Entry 2 of 2)

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.

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Synonyms for decoy

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for decoy

Verb

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

Examples of decoy in a Sentence

Noun He had a decoy distract the guard while he jumped over the fence. we set the decoy afloat in the marsh and from the blind waited for the ducks to arrive Verb tacky souvenir shops to which first-time tourists had been decoyed into spending their hard-earned money
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For the few who haven't surrendered to the drudgery of the desk salad, lunchtime—like a certain Office Space character's red stapler, or Liz Lemon's decoy candy drawer—fosters a sense of control, even as the TPS reports pile up. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Choosing the Right Time to Eat Lunch Can Shape Your Whole Day," 10 Sep. 2019 NBC News recently found that one political advertiser had sidestepped Facebook’s rules and was running ads under decoy company names. Davey Alba, BostonGlobe.com, "Facebook Tightens Rules on Verifying Political Advertisers," 28 Aug. 2019 On one play against Minnesota last season, New Orleans had three quarterbacks on the field at the same time, putting Hill in shotgun and bookending the formation with Brees and Teddy Bridgewater as decoy receivers. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Saints’ Taysom Hill is a do-it-all quarterback still perfecting his game," 18 Aug. 2019 Deputy Commissioner Tang Ping-keung acknowledged that police use decoy officers in some operations but would not go into details. Author: Yanan Wang, Christopher Bodeen, Anchorage Daily News, "Hong Kong airport shut down amid pro-democracy protest," 12 Aug. 2019 For example, agents often carry decoy photos, holding them up to the windows of migrants who are being targeted and pretending to be looking for someone else, to persuade them to open the door. New York Times, "ICE Launches Raids Targeting Migrant Families," 14 July 2019 On Braman’s ranch, Sowry and her colleagues were impressed by a demonstration of 10 of them trailing a human decoy in the brush. Sean Viljoen, National Geographic, "Texas hounds chase down rhino poachers in South Africa," 11 Sep. 2019 Gene also enjoyed carving duck decoys, and was an avid N.Y.Giant's fan as well as a UCONN Women's Basketball fan. courant.com, "Eugene A. Pintavalle," 8 Sep. 2019 On the previous fourth-and-short just inside the 50, Mike Denbrock deftly used running back Michael Warren as a decoy and called for Ridder to keep it himself. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "What we learned in Cincinnati Bearcats' loss at Ohio State," 8 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Finding actual explosives at airports is rare, so decoy explosive material is used to keep the dogs sharp and motivated. chicagotribune.com, "Meet two very good boys sniffing explosives and keeping fliers safe from bad guys," 30 July 2019 Finding actual explosives at airports is rare, so decoy explosive material is used to keep the dogs sharp and motivated. chicagotribune.com, "Meet two very good boys sniffing explosives and keeping fliers safe from bad guys," 30 July 2019 Finding actual explosives at airports is rare, so decoy explosive material is used to keep the dogs sharp and motivated. chicagotribune.com, "Meet two very good boys sniffing explosives and keeping fliers safe from bad guys," 30 July 2019 Finding actual explosives at airports is rare, so decoy explosive material is used to keep the dogs sharp and motivated. chicagotribune.com, "Meet two very good boys sniffing explosives and keeping fliers safe from bad guys," 30 July 2019 Finding actual explosives at airports is rare, so decoy explosive material is used to keep the dogs sharp and motivated. chicagotribune.com, "Meet two very good boys sniffing explosives and keeping fliers safe from bad guys," 30 July 2019 Finding actual explosives at airports is rare, so decoy explosive material is used to keep the dogs sharp and motivated. chicagotribune.com, "Meet two very good boys sniffing explosives and keeping fliers safe from bad guys," 30 July 2019 Finding actual explosives at airports is rare, so decoy explosive material is used to keep the dogs sharp and motivated. chicagotribune.com, "Meet two very good boys sniffing explosives and keeping fliers safe from bad guys," 30 July 2019 Finding actual explosives at airports is rare, so decoy explosive material is used to keep the dogs sharp and motivated. Dallas News, "Meet two very good boys sniffing explosives at DFW Airport and keeping fliers safe from bad guys," 24 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of decoy

Noun

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1648, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for decoy

Noun and Verb

probably from Dutch de kooi, literally, the cage

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Statistics for decoy

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for decoy

The first known use of decoy was in 1630

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More Definitions for decoy

decoy

noun
How to pronounce decoy (audio) How to pronounce decoy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of decoy

: 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

noun
de·​coy | \ di-ˈkȯi How to pronounce decoy (audio) , ˈdē-ˌkȯi\

Kids Definition of decoy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

decoy

verb
decoyed; decoying

Kids Definition of decoy (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on decoy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decoy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decoy

Spanish Central: Translation of decoy

Nglish: Translation of decoy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about decoy

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