decoy

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de·coy • n. / ˈdēˌkoi/ 1. a bird or mammal, or an imitation of one, used by hunters to attract other birds or mammals. ∎  a person or thing used to lure an animal or person into a trap. ∎  a fake or nonworking article, esp. a weapon, used to mislead or misdirect. 2. a pond into which wild ducks may be enticed for capture. • v. / diˈkoi/ [tr.] lure or entice (a person or animal) away from an intended course, typically into a trap. ORIGIN: mid 16th cent. (earlier as coy): from Dutch de kooi ‘the decoy,’ from Middle Dutch de kouw ‘the cage,’ from Latin cavea ‘cage.’ Sense 2 is from the practice of using tamed ducks to lead wild ones along channels into captivity.

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decoy pool with netted approaches for the capture of wildfowl. XVII. Evidence for the corr. vb. is earlier in Sc. (XVI) and in the gen. sense ‘entice, allure’; but the sb. was no doubt prior, and perh. — Du. de kooi ‘the decoy’, with assim. to †decoy gambling card-game (XVI), of unkn. orig. Du. kooi, †koye is a parallel development to MDu. kouwe, MLG. kaue — L. cavea CAGE.

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decoy •decoy • didicoi • Khoikhoi