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  1. a sudden forward thrust, as with a sword or knife; stab.
  2. any sudden forward movement; plunge.
verb (used without object), lunged, lung·ing.
  1. to make a lunge or thrust; move with a lunge.
verb (used with object), lunged, lung·ing.
  1. to thrust (something) forward; cause to move with a lunge: lunging his finger accusingly.

Origin of lunge1

1725–35; earlier longe for French allonge (noun; construed as a longe), allonger (v.) to lengthen, extend, deliver (blows) < Vulgar Latin *allongāre, for Late Latin ēlongāre to elongate
Can be confusedlong longe lounge lunge


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2. rush, charge, lurch.


noun, verb, lunged, lung·ing.
  1. longe.

Origin of lunge2

variant of longe < French; see longe, lune2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lunge

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He turned his back, and I saw his body go forward to the lunge.

  • But Gregory's answer had been a lunge which the boy had been forced to parry.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • A third stooped low with his hands on his hips that he might not lose a lunge or a parry.

    The Wild Geese

    Stanley John Weyman

  • That lunge over the guard was a thing to be proud of; and, by Jove!

  • It seemed curious to Roger that the burro did not kick nor lunge.

    The Forbidden Trail

    Honor Willsie

British Dictionary definitions for lunge


  1. a sudden forward motion
  2. fencing a thrust made by advancing the front foot and straightening the back leg, extending the sword arm forwards
  1. to move or cause to move with a lunge
  2. (intr) fencing to make a lunge
Derived Formslunger, noun

Word Origin

C18: shortened form of obsolete C17 allonge, from French allonger to stretch out (one's arm), from Late Latin ēlongāre to lengthen. Compare elongate


  1. a rope used in training or exercising a horse
  1. (tr) to exercise or train (a horse) on a lunge

Word Origin

C17: from Old French longe, shortened from allonge, ultimately from Latin longus long 1; related to lunge 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for lunge


1735, "a thrust with a sword," originally a fencing term, shortened from allonge, from French allonger "to extend, thrust," from Old French alongier "to lengthen, make long," from à "to" + Old French long, from Latin longus "long" (see long (adj.)).


1735 (implied in lunged), from lunge (n.). Sense of "to make a sudden forward rush" is from 1821. Related: Lunged; lunging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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