deked; dekeing

transitive verb

: to fake (an opponent) out of position (as in ice hockey)

intransitive verb

: to deke an opponent
deke noun

Did you know?

Deke originated as a shortened form of decoy. American writer Ernest Hemingway used deke as a noun referring to hunting decoys in a number of his works, including his 1950 novel Across the River and into the Trees ("I offered to put the dekes out with him"). In the 1940s, deke began appearing in ice-hockey contexts in Canadian print sources in reference to the act of faking an opponent out of position—much like how decoy is used for luring one into a trap. Today, deke has scored in many other sports, including baseball, basketball, soccer, and football. It has also occasionally checked its way into more general usage to refer to deceptive or evasive moves or actions.

Examples of deke in a Sentence

deked the lone defenseman with a deft move of his stick and went in for the breakaway
Recent Examples on the Web The Gael senior deked one more time to unsettle BYU’s already shaky defense, and then finally popped a quick pass to Mario’s older brother Erich on his left, who motored into the try zone for another Saint Mary’s five-pointer. Joseph Dycus, The Mercury News, 20 Apr. 2024 The Flames would eventually reward Markstrom with a three-goal lead when Backlund deked around Thompson in the crease before tapping it in for his 10th goal of the season. W.g. Ramirez, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2024 Allen Blaylock caught a sideline pass, deked a defender and sprinted 43 yards for a touchdown to clinch the victory with 1:21 left. Steve Galluzzo, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2023 The defender used her long reach and some slick moves to deke past the St. Mary’s defender, and coolly finished the play with a backhander to beat Catino. Olivia Nolan,, 19 Mar. 2023 Bartz dangles between a pair of Albert Lea defenders for the breakaway chance, then dekes the goalie with a series of stick moves to open up the pads and score five-hole. USA TODAY, 6 Mar. 2023 After sophomore Caroline Batchelder deked through traffic to create space for a shot, Mottau was on the scene to knock in the loose puck. Mike Puzzanghera,, 23 Feb. 2023 Three for all Rhett Pitlick deked his way through a pair of Michigan defenders, then sniped the puck past Michigan goalie Erik Portillo 1:57 into the third period to give the Golden Gophers a 3-2 lead. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 19 Mar. 2023 After chasing it down inside Nauset’s blue line, Souza deked twice, and buried the game-winner in front of a capacity crowd that saw some ticket buyers turned away at the door. Brad Joyal,, 9 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deke.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


short for decoy entry 2

First Known Use

1946, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of deke was in 1946


Dictionary Entries Near deke

Cite this Entry

“Deke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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