\ 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

Adri commented on the creepy, house-sized boulders that lurked randomly underwater in the deep lake. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "On the way to Bristol Bay, a sunken boat buoys a friendship," 12 June 2019 Researchers also noted that the model only took into account viruses spread via coughs and sneezes, and not those that may lurk in the cabin air. Kashmira Gander, Newsweek, "How to Avoid Catching the Flu Virus on a Plane, According to New Study," 20 Mar. 2018 Pet owners, beware the coyote that may be lurking in some South Florida neighborhoods. Susannah Bryan,, "Coyotes on the prowl in South Florida," 5 Mar. 2018 The videos are fascinating, both as a look at what lurks at the bottom of the ocean, and a glimpse of the day-to-day lives of these scientists. James Vincent, The Verge, "The most heartwarming video you’ll see today is of scientists cooing over this rare eel," 21 Sep. 2018 And that’s just scratching the surface of the dangers that lurk at your outdoor barbecue. NBC News, "How well do you know your barbecue food safety facts?," 23 June 2018 As half-time drew closer, Mkhitaryan lead a flying counter-attack for the Gunners, but chose to shoot from a tight angle rather than seek out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was lurking at the back-post., "Brighton Beats Joyless Arsenal to Pile More Pressure on Arsene Wenger," 4 Mar. 2018 In recent years, astronomers have come to agree that inside this region is a supermassive black hole, and that similar black holes lurk at the cores of nearly all other galaxies as well. Quanta Magazine, "Black-Hole Hunter Takes Aim at Einstein," 27 July 2017 But its means of getting there showed further proof of the growth of the club's roster from offseason moves and hints at the potential that could lurk in the future weeks and months. Charlie Hatch,, "FC Cincinnati's win at Indy will seem more and more impressive as the USL season continues," 1 Apr. 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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Statistics for lurk

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for lurk

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

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More Definitions for lurk



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


\ 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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