lame duck

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 And, as previously announced, the bill does not contain COVID-19 relief, leaving that issue in all likelihood for a post-election lame duck session — or for the next administration. Andrew Taylor, chicagotribune.com, "Democrats set to unveil stopgap bill to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the month," 18 Sep. 2020 Taking the stage for his first rally as a lame duck president, Mr. Trump immediately, and falsely, claimed victory in the presidential race. New York Times, "At Rally for Georgia Senators, Trump Focuses on His Own Grievances," 5 Dec. 2020 In politics, a lame duck president is a lot more vigorous. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "The destructive power of a lame duck president," 7 Nov. 2020 And in yet a third scenario, in which Trump is a lame duck president, Congress could pass a smaller package in December followed by a new spending proposal in the new year. Hamza Shaban, Washington Post, "Dow caps volatile October with worst weekly finish since March," 30 Oct. 2020 In the lame duck, Cupp’s members considered delaying HB6 payments to the nuclear facilities, but in the end did nothing about the tainted law. cleveland, "The top newsmakers in Ohio politics for 2020: Analysis," 27 Dec. 2020 Another package of bills passed in lame duck would give similar tax breaks for smaller grocery facilities intended to respond to customers' online orders. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Whitmer may veto lame duck bills giving major tax breaks to Meijer," 24 Dec. 2020 This should also come as no surprise, considering the fact that lame duck President Trump has done everything in his power to make Joe Biden’s presidential transition as difficult as possible. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Melania Trump Refuses To Welcome Jill Biden," 14 Jan. 2021 Mexico may have escaped more significant pushback from the United States by passing the law limiting D.E.A. activities in December, when a lame duck Trump administration was consumed with protesting the results of the American election. New York Times, "In Blow to U.S. Alliance, Mexico Clears General Accused of Drug Trafficking," 15 Jan. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of lame duck

1761, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lame duck

Time Traveler for lame duck

Time Traveler

The first known use of lame duck was in 1761

See more words from the same year

Statistics for lame duck

Last Updated

13 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lame duck.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lame%20duck. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lame duck

lame duck

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on lame duck

Nglish: Translation of lame duck for Spanish Speakers

Comments on lame duck

What made you want to look up lame duck? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!