Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A nobleman with the highest hereditary rank, especially a man of the highest grade of the peerage in Great Britain.
  • n. A sovereign prince who rules an independent duchy in some European countries.
  • n. Used as the title for such a nobleman.
  • n. Slang A fist. Often used in the plural: Put up your dukes!
  • n. Botany A type of cherry intermediate between a sweet and a sour cherry.
  • intransitive v. To fight, especially with fists: duking it out.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The male ruler of a duchy (compare duchess).
  • n. A high title of nobility; the male holder of a dukedom.
  • n. A grand duke.
  • n. A fist.
  • v. To hit or beat with the fists.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A leader; a chief; a prince.
  • n. In England, one of the highest order of nobility after princes and princesses of the royal blood and the four archbishops of England and Ireland.
  • n. In some European countries, a sovereign prince, without the title of king.
  • n. The fists.
  • intransitive v. To play the duke.
  • transitive v. To beat with the fists.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A chief; a prince; a commander; a leader: as, “the dukes of Edom,”
  • n. In Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, a hereditary title of nobility, ranking next below that of prince, but in some instances a sovereign title, as in those of the dukes of Burgundy, Normandy, Lorraine, etc. (see 3, below), or borne as his distinguishing title by a prince of the blood royal.
  • n. A sovereign prince, the ruler of a state called a duchy.
  • n. A name of the great eagle-owl of Europe, Bubo maximus, called grand-duc by the French.
  • n. plural The fists.
  • To play the duke.
  • n. A dialectal (Scotch) form of duck.
  • n. A vehicle having a victoria body suspended at the front on scroll-irons. At the rear is a rumble for a footman. It is sometimes driven by a postilion. Now called a ladies' driving-phaëton.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a nobleman (in various countries) of high rank
  • n. a British peer of the highest rank

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French duc, from Latin dux, duc-, leader, from dūcere, to lead; see deuk- in Indo-European roots. N., sense 4, short for Duke of Yorks, rhyming slang for forks, fingers.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French duc, from Latin dux. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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