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 The heart of a performance vehicle lurks under the hood. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Porsche’s third-generation Cayenne hybrid gets more juice, performance," 13 Sep. 2019 In the greater arc of the #MeToo movement, lawyers have lurked in the shadows, unnamed scribes formalizing agreements meant to stay secret. Elizabeth C. Tippett, The Conversation, "Weinstein may be a monster, but the lawyers who enabled him are the real villains in #MeToo takedown ‘She Said’," 12 Sep. 2019 Of course, would-be homicidal maniacs lurk in all kinds of jobs. Rene Chun, The Atlantic, "Modern Life Has Made It Easier for Serial Killers to Thrive," 10 Sep. 2019 Huge stainless-steel fermentation tanks lurk behind the bar and chef Nicolay Adinaguev’s wood-burning oven is the centerpiece of a small open kitchen. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: Good pizza and creative beer at 3 Sons Brewing in Dania Beach," 5 Sep. 2019 Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press Michigan State football lurks in the Big Ten — and for now, that's probably the best place to be. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "This is what Michigan State football has to do to reach Big Ten championship game," 20 Aug. 2019 Parsley oil, augmented with bay, lurks at the bottom of this soup, creating a green-and-cream terrazzo effect on the surface. Fortune, "Restaurant Review: Iceland’s Slippurinn Is an Ephemeral Culinary Destination," 11 Aug. 2019 As Valerie’s life unfolds in a blur of expectations and disappointment—predatory men, particularly, lurk at every stage of the story—her anarchism is humanized, without losing its teeth. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "“Valerie” Is an Extraordinary Love Letter to a Radical Feminist," 1 Aug. 2019 Its real mission is to communicate the lesson that, unique as the Holocaust was in scale, the evil that brought it about lurks in the psyche of humans in groups, and may not be visible from the outset. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "The U.S. Holocaust Museum is wrong to deny that Trump’s racism resembles Nazism," 15 July 2019

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

26 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce lurk (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lurk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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