lurk

verb
\ ˈlərk How to pronounce lurk (audio) \
lurked; lurking; lurks

Definition of lurk

intransitive verb

1a : to lie in wait in a place of concealment especially for an evil purpose someone out there lurking in the shadows
b : to move furtively or inconspicuously shall I lurk about this country like a thief?— Henry Fielding
c : to persist in staying the excitement of the first act still lurking in the air— Richard Fletcher Something about the smile lurking on Malfoy's face during the next week made Harry, Ron, and Hermione very nervous.— J. K. Rowling
2a : to be concealed but capable of being discovered specifically : to constitute a latent threat What evil lurks in the hearts of men?
b : to lie hidden Malaria lurked in the marshes.
3 : to read messages without contributing on an Internet discussion forum (see forum sense 1c) (such as a newsgroup or chat room) or social media platform (such as Facebook or Twitter) You can tweet as much as you want or lurk without comment, though consistent tweeting and audience engagement are key to attracting and keeping followers.— Charlotte Abbott

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Other Words from lurk

lurker noun, plural lurkers
a lurker in the shadows A new scam has surfaced on the Internet in which con artists using fake names stage phony conversations about a company's stock. Unsuspecting lurkers—people who read others' conversations but don't participate—think they are privy to a hot stock tip. Playboy

Choose the Right Synonym for lurk

lurk, skulk, slink, sneak mean to behave so as to escape attention. lurk implies a lying in wait in a place of concealment and often suggests an evil intent. suspicious men lurking in alleyways skulk suggests more strongly cowardice or fear or sinister intent. something skulking in the shadows slink implies moving stealthily often merely to escape attention. slunk around the corner sneak may add an implication of entering or leaving a place or evading a difficulty by furtive or underhanded methods. sneaked out early

Examples of lurk in a Sentence

She could tell there was someone out there lurking in the shadows. we caught a glimpse of someone lurking around the corner

Recent Examples on the Web

Related Simplisafe’s darker ad, which shows a man talking about robots taking jobs while a robot casually lurks behind him, was the exception. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "Robots’ Lead Role in Super Bowl Ads Hint at Tech Anxieties," 4 Feb. 2019 Between 1850 and 1941 an entire subterranean underworld lurked beneath this town, where people lived and died in a complex series of catacombs known as the Shanghai Tunnels. Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Most Haunted Cities In America and Why You Should Visit," 18 Oct. 2018 But Cam Simpson, an investigative journalist at Bloomberg News, began a quest, fueled by outrage and disgust, to answer a question lurking behind the murders: How could the world’s wealthiest, most powerful military treat its workers this way? Ellen Barry, New York Times, "Terrorists Killed 12 Nepalese Men. Was an American Military Contractor to Blame?," 15 June 2018 My favorite moment in the theater were the waves of oh-my-Gods as people realized one by one that something menacing was lurking just behind a character’s head onscreen. Allison P. Davis, The Cut, "Is Hereditary Really As Scary As Everyone Says?," 11 June 2018 Her Hester is a model of refinement, behind which lurks a past ridden with dark secrets that rattle her in nightmares. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "Amazon’s ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ is a transfixing tale," 23 May 2018 The heart of Gilded Age Los Angeles is Bel Air, a community of curving lanes and hillside mansions where a Hollywood legend lurks behind every hedge and gate. Rick Hampson, USA TODAY, "In the second Gilded Age, the mansions get bigger, and the homeless get closer," 16 May 2018 Three startups that didn’t last illustrate the range of complications lurking for DTC up-and-comers. Nat Ives, WSJ, "DTC Marketing Is Disruptive and Popular, but It Isn’t Easy," 28 Jan. 2019 But Marseille, who used to ride motorcycles, also sees trouble lurking. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "'Saw a guy riding down the sidewalk... texting on his phone.' Here come the scooters.," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lurk.' 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 lurk

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lurk

Middle English; akin to Middle High German lūren to lie in wait — more at lower

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Learn More about lurk

Dictionary Entries near lurk

Luri

lurid

luringly

lurk

lurry

lurs

Lusaka

Statistics for lurk

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lurk

The first known use of lurk was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for lurk

lurk

verb

English Language Learners Definition of lurk

: to be in a hidden place : to wait in a secret or hidden place especially in order to do something wrong or harmful
computers : to read messages written by other people on the Internet in a newsgroup, chat room, etc., without writing any messages yourself

lurk

verb
\ ˈlərk How to pronounce lurk (audio) \
lurked; lurking

Kids Definition of lurk

: to hide in or about a place

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More from Merriam-Webster on lurk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lurk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lurk

Spanish Central: Translation of lurk

Nglish: Translation of lurk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lurk for Arabic Speakers

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