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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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 Sleeper colonies can lurk for years — even decades — before their numbers grow big enough to get noticed. jsonline.com, 2 Sep. 2021 The past century has repeatedly proved that hardship and threats lurk just beyond our daily mirage of invincibility. Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Sep. 2021 The fall of the almost $2 billion Infinity Q Diversified Alpha Fund is a reminder to investors about the risks that can lurk in their holdings and the heavy costs and frustrations that liquidating funds bring. NBC News, 5 Sep. 2021 Its landfall has yet to be determined, and the storm could lurk in New England for up to two days after landfall causing widespread, life-threatening flash flooding. BostonGlobe.com, 21 Aug. 2021 Some stay in the shade, while others lurk in creeks or lakes, according to Patrick Taylor, chief of interpretation and education at Death Valley National Park. Washington Post, 24 July 2021 Any living microbes would presumably lurk inaccessibly deep belowground, in the planet’s warmer and possibly wetter interior. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, 6 Aug. 2021 Here are just a few of the things that lurk beneath our covers. Manal Mohammed, CNN, 30 July 2021 As species continue to decline at a rapid pace globally, researchers need non-invasive tools that can swiftly determine which critters lurk close by, reports Michael Le Page for New Scientist. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for lurk

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near lurk

luringly

lurk

lurker

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Statistics for lurk

Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lurk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lurk. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on lurk

Nglish: Translation of lurk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lurk for Arabic Speakers

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