- 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 for 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 lurching
And who knows, maybe lawmakers will discover that lurching from crisis to crisis is no way to run a government.GOP Claims Victory in Retreat on Debt Ceiling
January 19, 2013
As the debt talks were lurching into the eleventh hour, McConnell proposed a way out of the problem.Michael Tomasky on Obama’s Republican Revenge Over the Debt Limit
December 1, 2012
We are lurching from outrage, to anger, to outrage at the anger, and back again in microseconds.AIG Is Not Our BIG Problem
March 22, 2009
While it is painful to watch the daily lurching downward of the stock market, the air must come out of the balloon.The Other Market Casualty
William D. Cohan
October 10, 2008
He came at last, lurching in his walk, being overstiff from his long ride.St. Martin's Summer
Nichols rose, lurching to his full height, and looked in my direction.Romance
Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
He was running like a spent man, tottering and lurching from side to side.O Pioneers!
Lurching heavily forward she would have fallen had he not caught her.The Mask
The tragic beauty of his face and the pitiable, sluing, lurching stride!The Pagan Madonna
- 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 lurching
"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 lurching
see leave in the lurch.