Hank ducked under the police tape and entered the house.

When I look up 'ducked' it says that it's a quick movement, but does the sentence above suggest that or does Hank just move under the police tape?

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    He would have bent his back and knees as he walked, perhaps also lifting the tape, so as to pass under it. Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 16:55
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    I think the verb to duck primarily alludes to lowering one's head, by bending at the neck - which is what we see real live ducks doing when they dive their heads underwater while paddling around in a duck pond. Diving birds don't really have very bendy backs, but they all have very bendy necks. Etymologically speaking, I think to duck is cognate with to dive. Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 17:26

2 Answers 2


The definition you are looking for is there. See duck:

  1. verb - If you duck, you move your head or the top half of your body quickly downwards to avoid something that might hit you, or to avoid being seen.

Obviously he didn't want the police to see him.

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    I agree with the definition you chose, but I see no suggestion in the text that Hank didn't want the police to see him. Ducking under tape like that is the only way to get past it, unless you just walk straight through and break it. For all we know, Hank is a detective there to investigate the house.
    – stangdon
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 19:52
  • @stangdon Of course more context would address this. I'm not a police person and don't watch such on TV. But I assume police have some access other than going under the tape (meant for the public). Also I would guess it's a private detective, not an authorized person.
    – user3169
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 20:54
  • I like the definition, but not the conclusion that he didn't want to be seen. The only thing obvious is that he wanted to get past the police tape, and chose to go under.
    – gotube
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 23:45

It is a quick movement: Down, under the tape and then stand up on the other side.

The tape can't be so low that the motion can't be done quickly. He didn't "crawl under the tape" or "slide under the tape on his belly". It is a simple, quick motion,

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