Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 1 (NOD1) is an imperative cytoplasmic pattern recognition receptor (PRR) and considered as a key member of the NOD-like receptor (NLR) family which plays a critical role in innate immunity through sensing microbial components derived from bacterial peptidoglycan. In the current study, the full-length of duck NOD1 (duNOD1) cDNA from duck embryo fibroblasts (DEFs) was cloned. Multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that duNOD1 exhibited a strong evolutionary relationship with chicken and rock pigeon NOD1. Tissue-specific expression analysis showed that duNOD1 was widely distributed in various organs, with the highest expression observed in the liver. Furthermore, duNOD1 overexpression induced NF-κB activation in DEFs and the CARD domain is crucial for duNOD1-mediated NF-κB activation. In addition, silencing the duNOD1 decreased the activity of NF-κB in DEFs stimulated by iE-DAP. Overexpression of duNOD1 significantly increased the expression of TNF-α, IL-6, and RANTES in DEFs. These findings highlight the crucial role of duNOD1 as an intracellular sensor in duck innate immune system.