duke

1 of 2

noun

ˈdük How to pronounce duke (audio)
 also  ˈdyük
1
: a sovereign male ruler of a continental European duchy
2
: a nobleman of the highest hereditary rank
especially : a member of the highest grade of the British peerage
3
[probably from dukes of York, rhyming slang for fork (hand, fist)] slang : fist, hand
usually used in plural
dukedom
ˈdük-dəm How to pronounce duke (audio)
 also  ˈdyük-
noun

duke

2 of 2

verb

duked; duking
Phrases
duke it out
: to engage in a fight and especially a fistfight

Examples of duke in a Sentence

Noun Put up your dukes and fight, you coward!
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In the following centuries, the auction house says, the painting passed through multiple hands, including an English duke and Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, and was looted from Vienna by Napoleon’s troops but returned to the city after his fall. Niha Masih, Washington Post, 4 July 2024 Built in the 17th century, the castle was once home to the dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 June 2024
Verb
By Chantelle Lee June 27, 2024 7:17 PM EDT President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are slated to duke it out at the CNN debate on Thursday night, but there are still four other candidates vying for the presidential office in 2024. Chantelle Lee, TIME, 27 June 2024 Yet, this vision of pistol-toting gunslingers duking it out on muddy streets continues to haunt the city. Tiffani Jackson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 21 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for duke 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French duc, from Latin duc-, dux, from ducere to lead — more at tow entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1947, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of duke was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near duke

Cite this Entry

“Duke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duke. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

duke

noun
ˈd(y)ük
1
: a soveriegn ruler of a duchy
2
: a nobleman of the highest rank especially of the British nobility
3
slang : fist sense 1
usually used in plural

Biographical Definition

Duke

biographical name

ˈdük How to pronounce Duke (audio)
ˈdyük
Benjamin Newton 1855–1929 and his brother James Buchanan 1856–1925 American tobacco industrialists
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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