lurch

2
[ lurch ]
/ lɜrtʃ /

noun

a situation at the close of various games in which the loser scores nothing or is far behind the opponent.

Idioms

    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 lurch

2
1525–35; < Middle French lourche a game, noun use of lourche (adj.) discomfited < Germanic; compare Middle High German lurz left (hand), Old English belyrtan to deceive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for leave in the lurch (1 of 3)

lurch

1
/ (lɜːtʃ) /

verb (intr)

to lean or pitch suddenly to one side
to stagger or sway

noun

the act or an instance of lurching
Derived Formslurching, adjective

Word Origin for lurch

C19: origin unknown

British Dictionary definitions for leave in the lurch (2 of 3)

lurch

2
/ (lɜːtʃ) /

noun

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)

Word Origin for lurch

C16: from French lourche a game similar to backgammon, apparently from lourche (adj) deceived, probably of Germanic origin

British Dictionary definitions for leave in the lurch (3 of 3)

lurch

3
/ (lɜːtʃ) /

verb

(intr) archaic, or dialect to prowl or steal about suspiciously

Word Origin for lurch

C15: perhaps a variant of lurk
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

Idioms and Phrases with leave in the lurch (1 of 2)

leave in the lurch


Abandon or desert someone in difficult straits. For example, Jane was angry enough to quit without giving notice, leaving her boss in the lurch. This expression alludes to a 16th-century French dice game, lourche, where to incur a lurch meant to be far behind the other players. It later was used in cribbage and other games, as well as being used in its present figurative sense by about 1600.

Idioms and Phrases with leave in the lurch (2 of 2)

lurch


see leave in the lurch.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.