See more synonyms for lurk on
verb (used without object)
  1. to lie or wait in concealment, as a person in ambush; remain in or around a place secretly or furtively.
  2. to go furtively; slink; steal.
  3. to exist unperceived or unsuspected.
  4. Chiefly Computers. to read or observe an ongoing discussion without participating in it, as on a message board.
noun Australian Informal.
  1. an underhand scheme; dodge.
  2. an easy, somewhat lazy or unethical way of earning a living, performing a task, etc.
  3. a hideout.

Origin of lurk

1250–1300; Middle English lurken, frequentative of lower2; compare Norwegian lurka to sneak away
Related formslurk·er, nounlurk·ing, nounlurk·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for lurk

See more synonyms for on
1. Lurk, skulk, sneak, prowl suggest avoiding observation, often because of a sinister purpose. To lurk is to lie in wait for someone or to hide about a place, often without motion, for periods of time. Skulk suggests cowardliness and stealth of movement. Sneak emphasizes the attempt to avoid being seen. It has connotations of slinking and of an abject meanness of manner, whether there exists a sinister intent or the desire to avoid punishment for some misdeed. Prowl implies the definite purpose of seeking for prey; it suggests continuous action in roaming or wandering, slowly and quietly but watchfully, as a cat that is hunting mice. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for lurked

skulk, crouch, prowl, creep, snoop, slink, sneak, slide, snake, slip, steal, wait, gumshoe

Examples from the Web for lurked

Contemporary Examples of lurked

  • Better to think of it as the creative force that has lurked behind the last 999 of them.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Greater Than The Mona Lisa

    Blake Gopnik

    January 28, 2014

  • If this comes to pass, the question that has lurked beneath the crisis will rush to the surface: Who or what will fill the vacuum?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Sharia Law Coming To Syria

    Brian Stewart

    August 28, 2012

  • King dwells on "the darker city that lurked behind the enlightened one" a bit much for my taste.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Great Weekend Reads

    The Daily Beast

    March 5, 2011

Historical Examples of lurked

British Dictionary definitions for lurked


verb (intr)
  1. to move stealthily or be concealed, esp for evil purposes
  2. to be present in an unobtrusive way; go unnoticed
  3. to read messages posted on an electronic network without contributing messages oneself
  1. Australian and NZ slang a scheme or stratagem for success
Derived Formslurker, noun

Word Origin for lurk

C13: probably frequentative of lour; compare Middle Dutch loeren to lie in wait
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 lurked



c.1300, lurken "to hide, lie hidden," probably from Scandinavian (cf. dialectal Norwegian lurka "to sneak away," dialectal Swedish lurka "to be slow in one's work"), perhaps ultimately related to Middle English luren "to frown, lurk" (see lower (v.2)). Related: Lurked; lurking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper