lame duck


: one that is weak or that falls behind in ability or achievement
especially, chiefly British : an ailing company
: an elected official or group continuing to hold political office during the period between the election and the inauguration of a successor
: one whose position or term of office will soon end
lame-duck 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 But Stevens who voted against that resolution in the lame duck, is not really eager to move forward with it right now. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 12 Jan. 2023 With Putin looking more and more like a lame duck, and an instrument in the hands of squabbling factions of oligarchs and security heavies, Prigozhin could easily become a sacrificial pawn. Time, 26 June 2023 In a statement to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Westerman of Hot Springs insisted Democrat leaders have not made serious efforts to pass individual appropriations bills, instead relying on a funding measure in the final weeks of the lame duck Congress. Alex Thomas, Arkansas Online, 15 Dec. 2022 Farmers, military veterans, tech companies and immigration advocates had all pinned their hopes on Congress to pick up any of several bipartisan immigration proposals during their lame duck session, before Republicans assume control of the House in January. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, 30 Dec. 2022 Martinez Rosas says United We Dream plans to escalate actions and pressures to push Democrats to pass protections for Dreamers during lame duck. Time, 28 Oct. 2022 Johnson has promised to be a lame duck. Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2022 The clean cow, in other words, is a lame duck. Jan Dutkiewicz, Wired, 27 Nov. 2021 Jimmy Garoppolo, the ultimate lame duck. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Apr. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lame duck.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1761, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lame duck was in 1761

Dictionary Entries Near lame duck

Cite this Entry

“Lame duck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

lame duck

: an elected official continuing to hold office until a successor takes office

More from Merriam-Webster on lame duck

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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