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

bait, lure

Synonyms: Verb

allure, bait, beguile, betray, entice, lead on, lure, seduce, solicit, tempt

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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

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 McCaffrey, who completed 2-of-2 passes for 17 yards, was utilized mostly as a decoy or runner, finishing with eight carries for 42 yards. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Dylan McCaffrey: Michigan football's two-QB package 'can be really effective'," 3 Sep. 2019 The Patriots will miss his great hands, his precise route running, his unspoken bond with Brady, his ability to break tackles, his physicality in the run game, and his value as a decoy on play-action passes. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "Patriots offense has questions, but is there any doubt they’ll figure it out?," 2 Sep. 2019 To see women as innocent wallflowers in need of protection could prove a deadly mistake when women were serving as smugglers, scouts, decoys, insurgents, and combatants; ignore them at your peril. Brenda Wineapple, The New Republic, "Who wrote women out of Civil War history?," 16 Aug. 2019 Speaking of phonies, the BBC reports that Hong Kong is creating decoy protesters: Hong Kong police have admitted deploying officers disguised as anti-government protesters during mass unrest that rocked the city on Sunday. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Amazon’s Twitter ambassadors are blurring the line between fact and fiction," 16 Aug. 2019 Rather than make a fuss, the family has planned an elaborate wedding for Billi’s cousin Hao Hao (Han Chen), as a decoy reason to travel to Nai Nai’s hometown of Changchun. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Lulu Wang Had to Fight To Make Her Version Of The Farewell : "I Had To Say No A Lot"," 15 July 2019 Ellemen said that MMICs can provide detailed radar images to distinguish a missile warhead from nearby decoys or clutter, preventing the wasteful firing of an interceptor missile on nonthreatening targets. Colleen Shalby, latimes.com, "UCLA professor faces 219 years in prison for conspiring to send U.S. missile chips to China," 11 July 2019 The current permit regulations state that a permit holding person can't lure the vultures into gun range with blinds, pits, decoy or deception. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky black vulture attacks: How to keep your pets and farm animals safe," 25 June 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. Dallas News, "Meet two very good boys sniffing explosives at DFW Airport and keeping fliers safe from bad guys," 24 July 2019 Hunting - Guide Scott Clary said a low ceiling helped decoying action for snow geese. Bink Grimes, Houston Chronicle, "Outdoors report: Feb. 10," 9 Feb. 2018 Guide Matt Sbrusch of Prairie Waterfowl reported good decoying action for snows and Canadas in green fields near Lissie. Bink Grimes, Houston Chronicle, "Outdoors report: Jan. 14," 13 Jan. 2018 South winds have helped decoying action for geese lately. Bink Grimes, Houston Chronicle, "Outdoors report: Dec. 23," 22 Dec. 2017 Shooting decoying ducks or geese, the third shot can be useful for some but even then, the third shot is often just a prayer. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "2 shots at a time: In praise of the classic over/under Browning shotgun," 13 Dec. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near decoy

decorum

decoupage

decouple

decoy

decrassify

decrater

decrease

Statistics for decoy

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decoy

The first known use of decoy was in 1630

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More Definitions for decoy

decoy

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decoy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decoy

Spanish Central: Translation of decoy

Nglish: Translation of decoy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about decoy

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