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 authors estimate that there's probably a third planet lurking closer to the star, which would account for the large gap between PDS 70b and the faint disk that the star is embedded in. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "No exomoons yet, but we may have spotted a disk that will form them," 16 July 2019 Fear of the Big One long ago was compartmentalized in a far corner of my mind but always has lurked there, making me a tad nervous. George Skelton, latimes.com, "Afraid of the Big One? Consider Sacramento, which avoids the worst California quakes," 15 July 2019 And with motion alerts, your smart doorbell can intelligently notify you of anyone lurking near your doorway. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "Save big on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, Video Doorbell and Video Doorbell 2 for Prime Day," 14 July 2019 More trouble lurks: Vineyard Wind also disclosed that the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would not issue a crucial permit, as expected, this week. Jon Chesto, BostonGlobe.com, "Vineyard Wind project lands in rough waters," 12 July 2019 These concerns were fueled by reports about what allegedly lurked online. Kate Eichhorn, WIRED, "Social Media Could Make It Impossible to Grow Up," 8 July 2019 Tests on sewage show that the virus lurks in many cities. The Economist, "Pakistan is trying new tactics to eliminate polio," 4 July 2019 But as with so many chic cults, there is unfathomably grotesque violence and brutality lurking underneath the Instagram-worthy aesthetics. Lindsey Bahr, Detroit Free Press, "Horror film ‘Midsommar’ casts a disorienting spell on audiences," 3 July 2019 Rabbit avoided going to either Egg’s or Fox’s homes, because of the questions lurking there. Veronica Chambers, New York Times, "Viewfinders: 10 Y.A. Novelists Spin Fiction From Vintage Photos," 28 June 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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Learn More about lurk

Dictionary Entries near lurk

Luri

lurid

luringly

lurk

lurry

lurs

Lusaka

Statistics for lurk

Last Updated

20 Jul 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

Comments on lurk

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