1. The floorlike covering of the horizontal sections, or compartments, of a ship. Small vessels have only one deck; larger ships have two or three decks.

The following are the more common names of the decks of vessels having more than one.

<astronomy> Berth deck, the upper deck, usually a light deck, erected above the frame of the hull. Orlop deck, the deck or part of a deck where the cables are stowed, usually below the water line. Poop deck, the deck forming the roof of a poop or poop cabin, built on the upper deck and extending from the mizzenmast aft. Quarter-deck, the part of the upper deck abaft the mainmast, including the poop deck when there is one. Spar deck. Same as the upper deck. Sometimes a light deck fitted over the upper deck. Upper deck, the highest deck of the hull, extending from stem to stern.

2. The upper part or top of a mansard roof or curb roof when made nearly flat.

3. The roof of a passenger car.

4. A pack or set of playing cards. "The king was slyly fingered from the deck." (Shak)

5. A heap or store. "Who . . . Hath such trinkets Ready in the deck." (Massinger) Between decks. See Between.

<medicine> Deck bridge, to clear off all the stakes on the table by winning them.

Origin: D. Dek. See Deck.

(01 Mar 1998)

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