canard

During a political campaign, you will often hear on TV commercials some canard about the opponent. This is a false, deluding statement designed to confuse the voters, as it presents the other candidate in a bad light by spreading an untruth.

The Old French word quanart, "duck," morphed into canard, as in "vendre un canard à moitié," which refers to "half-selling" a duck, or cheating someone, and the word came to mean something meant to fool someone deliberately. Poet James Whitcomb Riley said, "When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck." Not always the case with canard.

Definitions of canard
1

n a deliberately misleading fabrication

Type of:
fable, fabrication, fiction
a deliberately false or improbable account

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.