Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


to decorate a person or object with something, usually for a special occasion

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The verb deck appeared in English in the 16th century, coming apparently from Flemish or Low German. It is closely connected to other Germanic words meaning ‘to cover’.


To deck something or to deck it out means to decorate it for a special occasion of some kind. Up and down the land homes are being decked out in Christmas decorations, including real and artificial trees, twinkling and flashing lights (both inside and out), and the tinsel discussed in yesterday’s post. The  verb deck is used in the carolDeck the hall with boughs of holly’ whose melody dates back to the 16th century, though the words are from the mid 19th. Holly is traditionally associated with Christmas, partly because its evergreen leaves and red berries make it one of relatively few plants that are green at this time of year. The verb deck has another, informal, meaning, which is to hit someone so hard they fall to the ground or ‘hit the deck’.


Deck the hall with boughs of holly,
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!”
(enTenTen15 corpus)

Related words

decorate, embellish, adorn, beautify

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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