sitting duck


: an easy or defenseless target

Examples of sitting duck in a Sentence

The tourists were sitting ducks for local thieves. those stupid comments just made him a sitting duck for comedians
Recent Examples on the Web Bud Light drops to fourth in bars and restaurants Indeed, Anheuser-Busch—bereft of pretty much any support from either side at this point—appears to be a sitting duck. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 21 July 2023 But then China and Russia showed such fat targets were sitting ducks. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, 2 July 2023 The rail crews were high-value targets and sitting ducks. Nick Yetto, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 June 2023 California ‘Like a sitting duck’: The catalytic converter theft spree is hitting old Toyota Priuses Sept. 7, 2022 Soto-Martinez also opposed the ordinance, but left the meeting before the council cast its vote. David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2023 Your car, your love, your sitting duck. Discover Magazine, 10 Aug. 2011 Others couldn’t understand why the airship — a sitting duck, or at least a gently floating one — wasn’t simply taken out by the Air Force. Jim Robbins, New York Times, 3 Feb. 2023 Not just an Oregon Duck, Fouts was a sitting duck in a time when NFL defenders had more leeway to brutalize foes. San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Jan. 2023 But even with historic status, the gateway pecan remains a sitting duck. Dallas News, 1 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sitting duck was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near sitting duck

Cite this Entry

“Sitting duck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

sitting duck

: an easy or defenseless target
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