lurk·​er ˈlər-kər How to pronounce lurker (audio)
plural lurkers
: one that lies hidden in or as if in ambush
a lurker in the shadows
It troubled me that there should have been a lurker on the stairs, on that night of all nights in the year …Charles Dickens
: a person who reads messages on an Internet discussion forum or social media platform but does not contribute
Online fandom was a world where people were having conversations about the things they loved. For more than a decade, I was listening to the conversations, but I didn't say a word. I was a lurker.Elizabeth Minkel

Examples of lurker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With 110 million buyers, sellers, collectors and lurkers roaming through Discogs every year, the 23-year-old online music marketplace’s forum threads are not exactly full of emotional support. Steve Knopper, Billboard, 1 Feb. 2024 To an untutored lurker, the whole thing seemed like … a frickin’ ballet, or some less dainty choreography, a headlong dance of astounding precision. Jody Rosen, New York Times, 2 Dec. 2023 Working out at home has benefits, including exercising in the comfort of your home (hello, Cozy Cardio) or simply having privacy and not worrying about lurkers staring at you across from the gym from their treadmill. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 13 Sep. 2023 Reddit, for example, has over 1 billion monthly active users, but according to a 2017 conference paper, an overwhelming majority of Reddit users are lurkers. Aarushi Bhandari, The Conversation, 4 Aug. 2023 But there’s wisdom here, too, for normies and lurkers, for people who want to build a social media following and for everyone in between. Shira Ovide, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 Poison ivy is a notorious garden lurker and a toxic plant. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 29 July 2023 How a Person Became a User — which imagines the lurker as a kind of twenty-first century flaneur — Adrian Daub writes that now, in the Age of the Virus, many of us, the inessential us, have become real-life lurkers. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, 14 Apr. 2020 McGee then reaffirms his innate coolness by linking a tattoo on one of the engineer's arms with the same logo on the lurker's hoodie. Sara Netzley,, 11 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lurker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lurker was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lurker

Cite this Entry

“Lurker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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