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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Critics have labeled the new telescope a dud.
▪ Pauley's last performance was a major dud.
▪ Even with the advantages of other income sources, studios depend on a few hits to pay for a large number of duds.
▪ I've learnt about 60 I suppose overall and half of them are duds naughty words or words for something completely different.
▪ There are a couple of duds on Double Good Everything but there's also a sharper sense of purpose.
▪ There were no duds among the three 1992 Piedmont wines I tried.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1825, "person in ragged clothing," from duds (q.v.). Sense extended by 1897 to "counterfeit thing," and 1908 to "useless, inefficient person or thing." This led naturally in World War I to "shell which fails to explode," and thence to "expensive failure."\n\n\n


n. 1 (context informal English) A device or machine that is useless because it does not work properly or has failed to work, such as a bomb, or explosive projectile. 2 A lottery ticket that does not give a payout. 3 Something that doesn't function properly 4 (context obsolete English) Clothes, now always used in plural form duds. 5 A loser, an unlucky person


adj. failing to detonate; especially not charged with an active explosive; "he stepped on a dud mine"

  1. n. someone who is unsuccessful [syn: flop, washout]

  2. an explosion that fails to occur [syn: misfire]

  3. an event that fails badly or is totally ineffectual; "the first experiment was a real turkey"; "the meeting was a dud as far as new business was concerned" [syn: turkey, bomb]


A dud is an ammunition round or explosive that fails to fire or detonate, respectively, on time or on command. Poorly designed devices (for example, improvised explosive devices (IEDs)), and small devices, have higher chances of being duds.

Duds are still dangerous, and can explode if handled. They have to be deactivated and disposed of carefully. In wartorn areas, many curious children have been injured or killed from tampering with such devices.

The term descends from the Middle Englishdudde, meaning "ragged clothing", and had been in usage as a general pejorative for something worn-out or useless for several centuries prior to the widespread adoption of the fused explosive artillery shell.

The variation absolute dud describes a nuclear weapon that fails to explode. (A nuclear weapon which does explode, but does not achieve its expected power, is termed a fizzle).

By extension, "dud" has become a slang word for anything that does not work or is defective. There is also a candy called Milk Duds, so named because it was impossible to get them perfectly round.

Dud (disambiguation)

A dud is an ammunition round or explosive that fails to fire or detonate, respectively.

Dud or Dudd may also refer to:

As a nickname or name:

  • Dudd (died between 781 and 785), Bishop of Winchester
  • William Odell Dud Bascomb (1916-1972), American jazz trumpeter
  • Dud Beattie (born 1934), Australian former rugby league footballer
  • Dudley DeGroot (1899-1970), American athlete and college and National Football League head coach
  • Dudd or Dud Dudley (1600–1684), English metallurgist, soldier, military engineer and munitions supplier
  • William Dudley Dud Lastrapes (born 1929), American businessman and politician
  • Ernest Holford Dud Lee (1899-1971), American backup Major League Baseball infielder
  • Dudley Richards (1932-1961), American figure skater
  • Dud, a character played by Dudley Moore - see Pete and Dud
  • Dudley A. "Dud" Wash, one of The Darlings, fictional recurring characters in the TV series The Andy Griffith Show
  • Dudd, a character in Glumpers, a Spanish animated TV series

Other uses:

  • Der Blindgänger or The Dud, a 2004 short German film by Andreas Samland
  • Dud, a village in the commune of Târnova, Arad, Romania
  • dud, ISO 639 code for the Duka language of Nigeria

Usage examples of "dud".

It was bitter cold last night, sir, and I wished to put my prat in ken or libbege with new duds.

I was forced to hide them way back in the chifforobe while I unpacked my few worn duds and got myself ready to face my sister and Muddie again.

But as he was saddling the paint, the tall drink of water in gray charro duds whom Longarm had already been introduced to as the segundo, or foreman of the spread, caught up with the slightly taller deputy to tell him he was wanted over at the casa grande.

Tame anarchists, a dreary crew, Squib Socialists too damp to sosh, Fake Hobohemians steeped in suds, Glib females in Artistic Duds With Captive Husbands cowed and gauche.

So when his mother visits him in the Metaverse, looking tan and happy in her golfing duds, Hiro views that as his personal fortune.

SECRET OF SILVER SPRINGS It was an hour after sunup when Dud Shafter rode the roan gelding up to the water hole at Pistol Rock.

Navarro touched his lips with his tongue, and Dud Shafter shifted his weight to face the opening into the basin.

Dud Shafter and the Negro, who had said his name was Benzie, followed.

Dud Shafter stared after him, and Benzie swallowed, his eyes wide and white.

He considered the Milk Duds recorder quite a cool hack, and he thought that the codez themselves might be an entree to the clannish hackers and crackers, who scorned dilettantes and warez kidz, but who were always looking for ways to steal phone calls.

The acidhead tried to use his eyes like electrical x-rays to see those Madonna milk duds beneath her angel shirt.

All these people who sell us information are like that They categorize it, and husband it, and let it go only grudgingly, as a philatelist disposes of bits of his collection, and tries to get rid of the dud stamps first.

And I can sit in front of the cinevision every night and watch blinkies like you tell each other what to do about duds like us.

He threw on his duds, that is, he had Mother Truczinski brush his blue bell-bottom trousers with cold coffee, squeezed into his sport shoes, poured himself into his jacket with the anchor buttons, sprinkled the white silk scarf from the Free Port with cologne which had also ripened on the duty-free dungheap of the Free Port, and soon stood there ready to go, stiff and square in his blue visor cap.

There was no need to go into why the personal duds of even a dead hidalgo might give some vaqueros lofty opinions of their position on the spread.