lurch

1 of 5

verb (1)

lurched; lurching; lurches

intransitive verb

1
: to move with a lurch
suddenly lurched forward
also : stagger
has lurched from crisis to crisis Jere Longman
2
: to roll or tip abruptly : pitch

lurch

2 of 5

noun (1)

1
: an abrupt jerking, swaying, or tipping movement
the car moved forward with a lurch
2
: a sudden roll of a ship to one side

lurch

3 of 5

noun (2)

: a decisive defeat in which an opponent wins a game by more than double the defeated player's score especially in cribbage

lurch

4 of 5

verb (2)

lurched; lurching; lurches

transitive verb

1
: to defeat by a lurch (as in cribbage)
2
archaic : to leave in the lurch

lurch

5 of 5

verb (3)

lurched; lurching; lurches

intransitive verb

dialectal, chiefly England : to loiter about a place furtively : prowl

transitive verb

1
archaic : cheat
2
obsolete : steal
Phrases
in the lurch
: in a vulnerable and unsupported position
At the peak of the noonday rush the cashier stalked out and left him in the lurch.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

origin unknown

Noun (2) and Verb (2)

Middle French lourche, adjective, defeated by a lurch, deceived

Verb (3)

Middle English lorchen, probably alteration of lurken to lurk

First Known Use

Verb (1)

circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun (1)

1805, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun (2)

1598, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

circa 1651, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb (3)

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of lurch was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near lurch

Cite this Entry

“Lurch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lurch. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

lurch 1 of 3

noun

: an overwhelming defeat in a game (as cribbage)
in the lurch
: in a defenseless position

lurch

2 of 3

noun

1
: a sudden roll of a ship to one side
2
: a sudden jerking, swaying, or tipping movement
the car gave a lurch
also : a staggering gait

lurch

3 of 3

verb

1
: to roll or tip suddenly
2
: to move with a lurch
suddenly lurched forward

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