Thesaurus

decoy

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of decoy

(Entry 1 of 2)

something used to attract animals to a hook or into a trap
  • we set the decoy afloat in the marsh and from the blind waited for the ducks to arrive

Synonyms for decoy

Words Related to decoy

Near Antonyms for decoy

decoy

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of decoy (Entry 2 of 2)

to lead away from a usual or proper course by offering some pleasure or advantage
  • tacky souvenir shops to which first-time tourists had been decoyed into spending their hard-earned money

Synonyms for decoy

Words Related to decoy

Near Antonyms for decoy

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About decoy

How does the verb decoy differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of decoy are entice, inveigle, lure, seduce, and tempt. While all these words mean "to lead astray from one's true course," decoy implies a luring into entrapment by artifice.

attempting to decoy the enemy into an ambush

Where would entice be a reasonable alternative to decoy?

The meanings of entice and decoy largely overlap; however, entice suggests drawing by artful or adroit means.

advertising designed to entice new customers

When might inveigle be a better fit than decoy?

The words inveigle and decoy are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, inveigle implies enticing by cajoling or flattering.

fund-raisers inveigling wealthy alumni

When would lure be a good substitute for decoy?

In some situations, the words lure and decoy are roughly equivalent. However, lure implies a drawing into danger, evil, or difficulty through attracting and deceiving.

lured naive investors with get-rich-quick schemes

When could seduce be used to replace decoy?

The words seduce and decoy can be used in similar contexts, but seduce implies a leading astray by persuasion or false promises.

seduced by assurances of assistance

When is tempt a more appropriate choice than decoy?

The synonyms tempt and decoy are sometimes interchangeable, but tempt implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of conscience or better judgment.

tempted by the offer of money

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about decoy

Time Traveler for decoy

Time Traveler

The first known use of decoy was in 1630

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Decoy.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/decoy. Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on decoy

Dictionary: Definition of decoy

Nglish: Translation of decoy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about decoy

Comments on decoy

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!