sitting duck


Definition of sitting duck

: an easy or defenseless target

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Synonyms for sitting duck


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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 With Daniel Jones a sitting duck because of his hamstring injury, the Cardinals sacked him six times and Colt McCoy twice after Jones left the game with an ankle injury. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Myles Garrett reveals he’s still doing breathing treatments to recover from COVID-19: ‘You have to take it seriously’," 18 Dec. 2020 Without an active alarm system, a museum with breakable windows and fences is just a sitting duck. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "How Thieves Just Pulled Off the Largest Treasure Heist Since World War II," 25 Nov. 2019 This is what public health experts have assured us would happen: People in detention centers are sitting ducks for the spread of this virus. NBC News, "Pope does not have coronavirus, calls for global ceasefire during pandemic," 30 Mar. 2020 All of us are sitting ducks and utterly dependent on outside help for survival. Mayyu Ali, Time, "Rohingya Refugees Brace for a New Deadly Threat—Coronavirus," 3 Apr. 2020 Hours of prolonged exposure to the sick leaves medical professionals sitting ducks to a virus that has no vaccine, and to which humans have no immunity. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "The world's new heroes are medical workers," 24 Mar. 2020 If something has gone wrong within that process, the antennas are sitting ducks. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Has Lost Contact With Its Ambitious CubeSat Asteria," 6 Jan. 2020 Beyond that, Trump was a dangerous and greedy Washington neophyte, whose imbecility made him a sitting duck for political vultures like Russia, which identified him immediately as someone who might easily be manipulated. Dahleen Glanton, Twin Cities, "Dahleen Glanton: Republicans are right. Democrats wanted to impeach Donald Trump from the start.," 18 Dec. 2019 At Tiananmen, the protesters were gathered in a large public square like sitting ducks where they could be easily mowed down. Marc A. Thiessen, The Mercury News, "Thiessen: Trump has the upper hand in Hong Kong, not China," 16 Aug. 2019

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

1942, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for sitting duck

Time Traveler

The first known use of sitting duck was in 1942

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Cite this Entry

“Sitting duck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for sitting duck

sitting duck


English Language Learners Definition of sitting duck

: a person or thing that is easy to hit, attack, trick, etc.

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