- 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
- 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 lurched
He lurched hard over the curb, his hand raised toward the passing cars.The Amazing Superheroes of New York City
August 7, 2011
He lurched from story to story and sometimes into improvisation with no reason for or momentum to his overall line of thought.Dave Chappelle's Secret Shows
July 10, 2011
Chasen did not surrender her purse, jewelry, money, or car, but lurched leftward onto Whittier, where she crashed into a lamppost.Chasen Murderer's Secret Past
A. L. Bardach
December 15, 2010
Theo fell off his bike and lurched across the road, then collapsed.Life On The Run
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
October 6, 2008
It was as though the involuntary kiss had lurched him forward into a futurity of misery.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Behind them lurched another man, slinking in the background.Louisiana Lou
William West Winter
Lionel lurched in, closed the door, and shot home one of its bolts.
He turned, and lurched into the dining-room upon legs that trembled.
He rose somewhat unsteadily, and lurched across to the window.The Trampling of the Lilies
- 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 lurched
"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 lurched
see leave in the lurch.