- an act or instance of swaying abruptly.
- a sudden tip or roll to one side, as of a ship or a staggering person.
- an awkward, swaying or staggering motion or gait.
- (of a ship) to roll or pitch suddenly.
- to make a lurch; move with lurches; stagger: The wounded man lurched across the room.
Origin of lurch1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a situation at the close of various games in which the loser scores nothing or is far behind the opponent.
- leave in the lurch, to leave in an uncomfortable or desperate situation; desert in time of trouble: Our best salesperson left us in the lurch at the peak of the busy season.
Origin of lurch2
- Archaic. to do out of; defraud; cheat.
- Obsolete. to acquire through underhanded means; steal; filch.
- British Dialect. to lurk near a place; prowl.
- Archaic. the act of lurking or state of watchfulness.
Origin of lurch3
Examples from the Web for lurch
That will leave troops in a lurch when the F-35 eventually becomes the only game in town.Newest U.S. Stealth Fighter ‘10 Years Behind’ Older Jets
December 26, 2014
The crowd began to lurch violently, as small motions rippled out into panicked attempts to break away.The War Inside: Terrorism & Teenhood in ‘No Dawn Without Darkness’
August 3, 2014
The United States cannot simply walk away from the plain meaning of the Budapest Memorandum and leave Ukraine in the lurch.Obama Must Show He’ll Use Military Means to Deter Russia in Ukraine
Leslie H. Gelb
March 30, 2014
So as we lurch toward the next “fail-safe” milestone, there must be a way out for both sides.CEO Solutions to the Shutdown
William L. McComb
October 14, 2013
Well, this is where the mainstream media have left you, citizen, in the lurch.Impeaching Obama May Be Absurd, but That Won’t Stop the Right-Wing Fringe
August 28, 2013
With every lurch of her feet, Andrew expected to feel her crumble beneath him.Way of the Lawless
I can't run the chance of the paper being left in the lurch.In the Midst of Alarms
My pride was touched, and I agreed to go, leaving my fisherman in the lurch.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Government, I suppose, will do what is right, and not leave me in the lurch.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
What sort of a God was it who was gracious only to the young, and left the old in the lurch?Casanova's Homecoming
- to lean or pitch suddenly to one side
- to stagger or sway
- the act or an instance of lurching
- leave someone in the lurch to desert someone in trouble
- cribbage the state of a losing player with less than 30 points at the end of a game (esp in the phrase in the lurch)
- (intr) archaic, or dialect to prowl or steal about suspiciously
Word Origin and History for lurch
"sudden pitch to one side," 1784, from earlier lee-larches (1765), a nautical term for "the sudden roll which a ship makes to lee-ward in a high sea, when a large wave strikes her, and bears her weather-side violently up, which depresses the other in proportion" ["Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences," London 1765]; perhaps from French lacher "to let go," from Latin laxus (see lax).
When a Ship is brought by the Lee, it is commonly occaſsioned by a large Sea, and by the Neglect of the Helm's-man. When the Wind is two or three Points on the Quarter, the Ship taking a Lurch, brings the Wind on the other Side, and lays the Sails all dead to the Maſt; as the Yards are braced up, ſhe then having no Way, and the Helm being of no Service, I would therefore brace about the Head ſails ſharp the other Way .... [John Hamilton Moore, Practical Navigator, 8th ed., 1784]
"predicament," 1580s, from Middle English lurch (v.) "to beat in a game of skill (often by a great many points)," mid-14c., probably literally "to make a complete victory in lorche," a game akin to backgammon, from Old French lourche. The game name is perhaps related to Middle English lurken, lorken "to lie hidden, lie in ambush," or it may be adopted into French from Middle High German lurz "left," also "wrong."
1821, from lurch (n.1). Related: Lurched; lurching.
Idioms and Phrases with lurch
see leave in the lurch.