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.

Example Sentences

deked the lone defenseman with a deft move of his stick and went in for the breakaway
Recent Examples on the Web Hornqvist got the puck in the Nashville offensive zone and passed to Huberdeau, who had enough time to deke out Rinne before flipping the puck over the goalie’s right pad. Teresa M. Walker,, 6 Mar. 2021 After the Generals managed a few shots, Conard gained control of the puck but had a pass intercepted by Arena, who would deke Conard goalie Shea Henderson to score the unassisted shorthanded goal with 58 seconds left in the first. Sean Begin,, 12 Mar. 2018

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

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 Nov. 2022.

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