lame duck


Definition of lame duck

1 : one that is weak or that falls behind in ability or achievement especially, chiefly British : an ailing company
2 : an elected official or group continuing to hold political office during the period between the election and the inauguration of a successor
3 : one whose position or term of office will soon end

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Other Words from lame duck

lame-duck \ ˈlām-​ˈdək How to pronounce lame-duck (audio) \ adjective

Examples of lame duck in a Sentence

The President was a lame duck during the end of his second term.

Recent Examples on the Web

By then, Luke Walton’s ill-fated tenure as coach had limped into lame duck territory., "The King Maker: Why Rich Paul Will Own the NBA Summer," 12 June 2019 One challenge is that Ryan is a lame duck who will be gone in six months. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s family separation policy tests the leadership abilities of Ryan and McConnell," 20 June 2018 In fact, according to The Weekly Standard, top Republicans are so eager to oust the lame duck speaker that there’s talk of pushing Ryan out this summer, months before the end of his term, to make way for McCarthy. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Whatever Happened to the Scandal That Derailed Kevin McCarthy’s Last Bid for Speaker?," 21 May 2018 That would set up another fiscal showdown during a lame duck session. Catherine Lucey, The Seattle Times, "Trump indicates pre-election shutdown unlikely," 31 July 2018 But if the House is forced to consider contentious subjects between now and November, lame duck Ryan might not be able to prevent a revolt. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "How hard will McCarthy go against Mueller?," 23 Apr. 2018 Other than the discussion of migrants, Pence’s visit appeared light on substance, as was expected given that Temer is deeply unpopular and a lame duck ahead of October elections. Washington Post, "VP Pence warns migrants not to attempt to enter US illegally," 28 June 2018 There aren’t the final months of a second-term constitutionally lame duck presidency with a presidential election fast approaching. Catherine Lucey And Lisa Mascaro,, "Barbed Senate words over timing of court confirmation," 28 June 2018 Of those, six presidents got nominees through as lame ducks. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "5 Reasons Why Supreme Court Nominations Have Failed," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lame duck.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lame duck

1761, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for lame duck

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lame duck

The first known use of lame duck was in 1761

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More Definitions for lame duck

lame duck


Financial Definition of lame duck

What It Is

A lame duck is a person who has gone bankrupt or is in default. In politics, a lame duck is a politician whose tenure is about to end.

How It Works

For example, let's say John Doe has lost money on every trade he has made during the last 20 months. He is a lame duck.

Why It Matters

The world of money has many colorful terms. This term is one of many that describe bad investments, bad investors and other aspects of the downside of investing.

Source: Investing Answers

lame duck


English Language Learners Definition of lame duck

chiefly US : an elected official whose time in an office or position will soon end
chiefly British : a person, company, etc., that is weak or unsuccessful and needs help

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Spanish Central: Translation of lame duck

Nglish: Translation of lame duck for Spanish Speakers

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