\ˈdəkt \

Definition of duct 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a bodily tube or vessel especially when carrying the secretion of a gland

2a : a pipe, tube, or channel that conveys a substance

b : a pipe or tubular runway for carrying an electric power line, telephone cables, or other conductors

3 : a tube or elongated cavity (such as a xylem vessel) in plant tissue

4 : a layer (as in the atmosphere or the ocean) which occurs under usually abnormal conditions and in which radio or sound waves are confined to a restricted path



Definition of duct (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to enclose in a duct

2 : to convey (something, such as a gas) through a duct also : to propagate (something, such as radio waves) through a duct

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Other Words from duct


ductal \ˈdək-tᵊl \ adjective
ductless \ˈdək(t)-ləs \ adjective

Examples of duct in a Sentence


air ducts to provide ventilation

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lightfoot said the driver broke into the residence and tried to hide from police underneath an air-conditioning duct in the attic. Andy Nguyen, latimes.com, "Speeding suspect attempts to evade capture by ducking into stranger’s home, police say," 13 June 2018 Follow-up studies need to be done to explore just how an increase in breast ducts might deliver more nutrients. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Gene linked to breastfeeding may have boosted survival of earliest Americans," 23 Apr. 2018 Active front air ducts and a rear spoiler create up to 1,763.7 pounds of downforce at 155 mph, gluing the car to tarmac while cornering. Basem Wasef, WIRED, "McLaren's $958,966 Senna Hypercar Ain't Pretty, but It Can Whip a Track," 30 June 2018 There's no engine to feed with air and few radiators to cool, so the body isn't scarred with intake ducts, scoops, or vents. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "7:57:148—Volkswagen makes racing history with record-breaking electric race car," 29 June 2018 Here the cheerleaders focus on the alleged duct-taping of body parts as a way of shaming them into losing weight and/or adding muscle tone. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "NFL Teams Previously Have Settled in Cheerleader Lawsuits. Will Texans' Ex-Cheerleaders Set Different Precedent?," 25 June 2018 In the real world, plastic burns hotter than wood, large façades amplify flames, and cuts for ducts and vents expose combustible layers that the manufacturer intended to seal off. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "A Year Has Passed Since the Grenfell Tower Fire. It Could Happen Again Anytime.," 14 June 2018 Like milk production, latching, painful breasts, and as Wong says, helping someone with a clogged duct. refinery29.com, "What Exactly Is A Lactation Consultant?," 15 May 2018 In Troy on Monday, a firefighter saved the day by plucking a Yorkshire terrier out of an air duct. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Dog gets stuck in ductwork of Troy home," 1 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Back in March, DARPA announced that it had awarded company called Aurora Flight Sciences a contract to start test its far-out design for a VTOL craft propelled by two dozen ducted fans. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "DARPA's Bonkers 24-Prop Plane Takes Flight," 19 Apr. 2016 Apprentices receive lower pay than more experienced metal fabricators, who make ducting for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and are normally in demand by contractors. Jeannette Lee Falsey, Alaska Dispatch News, "How bad is Alaska’s recession? Economists call it ‘moderate’ so far.," 26 July 2017 Miles of neatly ducted, shielded cables run along the ceiling. Sebastian Anthony, Ars Technica, "Taking a flight on the best Boeing 757," 3 July 2017 The District 181 Board Monday approved paying for a fitness mezzanine and expanded storage at about $53,400, two operable windows per classroom for about $217,400 and ducted fan coil units in lieu of cassettes for about $134,500. Chuck Fieldman, chicagotribune.com, "Track not part of $400,000 in Hinsdale Middle School additions," 27 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'duct.' 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 duct


1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1936, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for duct


New Latin ductus, from Medieval Latin, aqueduct, from Latin, act of leading, from ducere to lead — more at tow entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near duct

duck wheat







Statistics for duct

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for duct

The first known use of duct was in 1667

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More Definitions for duct



English Language Learners Definition of duct

: a pipe or tube for air, water, electric power lines, etc., to pass through

: a tube in the body that carries a particular liquid


\ˈdəkt \

Kids Definition of duct

: a pipe, tube, or vessel that carries something air-conditioning ducts tear ducts


\ˈdəkt \

Medical Definition of duct 

: a bodily tube or vessel especially when carrying the secretion of a gland

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More from Merriam-Webster on duct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for duct

Spanish Central: Translation of duct

Nglish: Translation of duct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of duct for Arabic Speakers

Comments on duct

What made you want to look up duct? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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