1. An unfounded or false, deliberately misleading story.
a. A short winglike control surface projecting from the fuselage of an aircraft, such as a space shuttle, mounted forward of the main wing and serving as a horizontal stabilizer.
b. An aircraft whose horizontal stabilizing surfaces are forward of the main wing.
[French, duck, canard, probably from the phrase vendre un canard à moitié, to sell half a duck, to swindle, from Old French quanart, duck, from caner, to cackle, of imitative origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.