\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

Air ducts designed to lessen the leader’s advantage. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Hembree: Restrictor plates add competitive, gimmicky shine to NASCAR All-Star Race," 19 May 2018 The status light alerts you if there's a blockage or low airflow through the duct. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "Kenmore Elite 91852 7.4 cu. ft. Front Load Gas Dryer, 796.91582410," 13 Sep. 2016 In normal speak: Because only half of the ducts formed correctly, your uterus is smaller. Samantha Leal, Marie Claire, "Do You Have a "Unicorn Uterus"?," 28 May 2015 During a previous parents day, Ms. Hall recalls, one father expressed concern about the company’s fiscal health after seeing the exposed duct work on the office ceilings. Te-ping Chen, WSJ, "Cornering Your Boss, Snapping Pictures at Your Desk: It’s Take Your Parents to Work Day," 12 Nov. 2018 But squeezing your facial muscles during a yawn can temporarily close off these ducts, keeping those tears in your eyes a little longer than usual. Korin Miller, SELF, "Why Do My Eyes Water When I Yawn?," 25 Sep. 2018 His head was found with a black plastic bag duct taped to his neck, still attached to his torso. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "Witness details gruesome beating of San Antonio man who was cut up, body parts burned," 25 May 2018 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

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

4 Dec 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

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