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Deck

A pack of cards, or that part of the pack which is left after the hands have been dealt.

But whilst he thought to steal the single`ten,'
The `king' was slyly fingered from the deck.

Shakespeare: 3 Henry VI., v. 1.

To sweep the deck.
To clear off all the stakes. (See above.) To deck is to decorate or adorn. (Anglo-Saxon, decan; Dutch, dekken, to cover.)

I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,
And not have strewed thy grave.

Shakespeare: Hamlet, v. 1.

Clear the decks
—i.e. get out of the way; your room is better than your company; I am going to be busy. A sea term. Decks are cleared before action.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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