AskDefine | Define decoy

Dictionary Definition



1 a beguiler who leads someone into danger (usually as part of a plot) [syn: steerer]
2 something used to lure victims into danger [syn: bait, lure] v : lure or entrap with or as if with a decoy

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A person or object meant to lure something to danger.
  2. A real or fake animal used by hunters to lure game.


  1. To act or use a decoy.

Derived terms


Extensive Definition

A decoy is usually a person, device or event meant as a distraction to conceal what an individual or a group might be looking for. Decoys have been used for centuries most notably in game hunting, but also in wartime and in the committing or resolving of crimes.
The decoy in war may for example be a wooden fake tank, designed to be mistaken by bomber plane crews to be real, or a device that fools an automatic system such as a guided missile, by simulating some physical properties of a real target.
For a defence system, decoys and chaff for ICBMs would mainly work in midcourse: during the boost phase they would be inside the rocket, because separate rockets for each of many decoys would not be practical, while at reentry light decoys and chaff considerably slow down and/or are destroyed in the atmosphere.
A decoy was originally a small pond with a long cone-shaped wickerwork tunnel, used to catch wild ducks. After the ducks settled, a small trained dog would herd the ducks into the tunnel. The catch was formerly sent to market for food, but now these are only used to catch ducks to be ringed and released: see ornithology. The word came from Dutch eende(n)kooi = "duck cage". As the above meaning of a person or device supplanted the original meaning as the most common, the latter acquired the retronym "decoy pool". List of Duck Decoys
Wildfowl decoys (primarily ducks, geese, shorebirds, and crows, but including some other species) are considered a form of folk art. Collecting decoys has become a significant hobby both for folk art collectors and hunters. The world record was set in January 2007 when a red-breasted merganser hen (circa 1875) by Lothrop Holmes of Kingston, MA sold for $856,000(US).

In biochemistry

In biochemistry, there are decoy receptors, decoy substrates and decoy RNA. In addition, digital decoys are used in protein folding simulations.

Decoy receptor

A decoy receptor, or sink receptor , is a receptor that binds a ligand, inhibiting it from binding to its normal receptor. For instance, the receptor VEGFR-1 can prevent vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) from binding to the VEGFR-2
A new record was set when two decoys (Canadian goose and a preening pintail drake) by A. Elmer Crowell of East Harwich, MA were perportadly sold for $1.13 million dollars each in September, 2007 although this is unclear as they were part of a sale of over 30 decoys for $3.7 million.
Fish decoy collecting is also quite popular. Especially ice fishing decoys. See also fishing lures.


External links

decoy in German: Vogelkoje
decoy in Dutch: Eendenkooi
decoy in Japanese: デコイ
decoy in Swedish: Bulvan

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Dionaea, agent provocateur, allure, allurement, attract, attraction, bait, bait the hook, baited trap, birdlime, blandish, booby trap, by-bidder, cajole, capper, catch, catch out, charm, chicane, chicanery, coax, come-on, come-on man, deadfall, deathtrap, deceive, deception, decoy duck, delude, draw, draw in, draw on, drawcard, drawing, drawing card, endearment, enmesh, ensnare, ensnarl, entangle, entice, enticement, entoil, entrap, enweb, firetrap, flirt, flirt with, flytrap, gin, give the come-on, ground bait, hook, hook in, induce, inducement, inveigle, inveiglement, lead on, lime, lure, mesh, mine, mislead, mole trap, mousetrap, net, noose, offer bait to, pitfall, plant, rattrap, rope in, seduce, seducement, set gun, shill, snare, snarl, sniggle, spread the toils, spring gun, stall, stool pigeon, stoolie, suck in, tangle, tempt, temptation, toll, trap, trapfall, trick, trickery, trip, wile, wind, woo
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1