What Does Duck and Weave Mean?

Duck and Weave Meaning

Definition: To move from side to side, bobbing up and down.

People often move this way when trying to navigate through a large crowd. This expression describes a type of motion.

Origin of Duck and Weave

The verb duck predates the animal duck, although the two are related. One meaning of duck means to dive. The animal is named for the diving motion it makes through the water, and how it bobs its head in and out of the water.

Another meaning of duck is avoid a blow by moving down quickly. This meaning of duck appears in the literal meaning of the expression duck and weave, which describes a motion common in boxing.

In the sport of boxing, the athletes will move their head up and down, and move their bodies from side to side, trying to avoid the other boxer’s punches.

Nowadays, people still use this expression for boxing, but also for anything with a similar motion.

Examples of Duck and Weave

duck and weave boxing duck and weave Here is an example of a teacher using the expression in a math class.

Teacher: Okay, class is finished. Don’t forget to turn in your homework. Hey, you, stop ducking and weaving through your classmates. I see you trying to escape through the crowd without giving me your homework.

Student: I’m sorry, but I forgot to do it. I thought you might not notice if I escaped the classroom before you saw me leave.

Teacher: Well, next time don’t move in such an obvious way. Uh, I mean, next time just finish your homework.

what does ducked mean In this example, two friends are coming back home from a party.

Monica: I think I’m done going to parties that are at nightclubs.

Janice: How come? Didn’t you have fun?

Monica: Yes, I enjoyed the music and seeing my friends, but the dance floor was too crowded. There was no room to move freely to dance. I felt like I was just ducking and weaving through the crowd all night.

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article that questions the safety of dog parks. It describes the movement of a family pet.

  • Kyle Hurt and his 6-year-old son, Mason, lounged on a bench watching their energetic boxer, Jersey, duck and weave around a feisty Australian shepherd in the Hound Hill dog park near Quebec and Lincoln streets. –Denver Post

The second excerpt shows a food critic describing his walk through a restaurant.

  • My guest and I duck and weave through the crowd as we follow the hostess to our table. The dining room is just as loud. It’s an echo chamber of shouted conversation and the uniquely screechy mating calls of the tequila-infused. –OC Register


The phrase duck and weave comes from the sport of boxing and describes the motion the boxer makes to avoid blows.

People now use it to describe the same type of motion when used in other activities, such as walking through a crowd.