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
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 WebMuch danger continues to lurk in the market, though, so income-seeking investors need to be cautious, market professionals say.
Michael A. Pollock, WSJ, 6 Nov. 2022 Other financial dangers also lurk for tourist-reliant Dubai, built on the promise of globalization.
Jon Gambrell, ajc, 30 Oct. 2022 For subscribers:What secrets still lurk in Lake Mead?
Shaun Mckinnon, The Arizona Republic, 28 Oct. 2022 So wash your hands and read on for some of the sneakier places where germs and biofilms — the technical term for slimy layers of bacterial colonies — often lurk.
Susannah Herrada, Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2022 Even if hoarding of gas supplies has gone full thrust ahead and reliance on Russian provisions has dwindled to less than 10 percent, dangers still lurk.
Raf Casertand And Samuel Petrequin, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 Oct. 2022 With rare moments of dark comedy and irony, [Finn] is able to expose the forceful nature of society’s expectation to be happy and presentable despite the suffering that may lurk under one’s skin.
Sonaiya Kelley, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2022 Wounded hearts might lurk beneath emotional walls today.Chicago Tribune, 11 Aug. 2022 William will lurk in the on-deck circle, the field around them populated with the world’s greatest players and the brothers possibly overwhelmed with a fact almost too good to be true.
Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 19 July 2022 See More
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.
Middle English; akin to Middle High German lūren to lie in wait — more at lower