There are 2 main definitions of lurch in English:

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lurch1

Syllabification: lurch
Pronunciation: /lərCH
 
/

noun

[usually in singular]
An abrupt uncontrolled movement, especially an unsteady tilt or roll: the boat gave a violent lurch, and he missed his footing
More example sentences
  • As she jumped up, Moby made a lurch to grab her but missed.
  • Their lurch to the Left was disastrous for them at the last election.
  • Alcohol was banned, minority Islamic sects were outlawed and the lurch to the right began.

verb

[no object] Back to top  
Make an abrupt, unsteady, uncontrolled movement or series of movements; stagger: the car lurched forward Stuart lurched to his feet figurative he was lurching from one crisis to the next
More example sentences
  • Rocketing to his feet, then swaying as his head lurched, Kaerin staggered over to the long full size mirror.
  • There was a loudish bang and her car lurched forward with the impact.
  • The car lurched forward as Rob threw it into drive and raced for the western exit.
Synonyms
stagger, stumble, wobble, sway, reel, roll, weave, pitch, totter, blunder
sway, reel, list, heel, rock, roll, pitch, toss, jerk, shake, flounder, swerve, teeter

Origin

late 17th century (as a noun denoting the sudden leaning of a ship to one side): of unknown origin.

More
  • The lurch in leave someone in the lurch, ‘to leave an associate without support when they need it’, derives from French lourche, the name of a 16th-century game resembling backgammon. As well as a game, lurch then was a score or state of play in which one player was enormously ahead of the other. The unsteady, uncontrolled lurch is a different word from the late 17th century—it was originally a sailors' term, which described the sudden leaning of a ship to one side.

Words that rhyme with lurch

besmirch, birch, church, perch, search, smirch

Definition of lurch in:

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There are 2 main definitions of lurch in English:

Share this entry

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lurch2

Syllabification: lurch
Pronunciation: /lərCH
 
/

noun

(in phrase leave someone in the lurch)
Leave an associate or friend abruptly and without assistance or support in a difficult situation.
Example sentences
  • Some of the ‘cool’ people will leave you in the lurch or betray your friends; at least one of the people you can't stand will prove to be a loyal, courageous, and inspiring friend.
  • Santa's reindeer left him in the lurch when they abandoned him on a church roof, leaving firemen to come to the rescue.
  • Kelu departed forthwith, despite the guru's curse for leaving him in the lurch.
Synonyms
leave in trouble, let down, leave stranded, leave high and dry, abandon, desert

Origin

mid 16th century (denoting a state of discomfiture): from French lourche, the name of a game resembling backgammon, used in the phrase demeurer lourche 'be discomfited'.

More
  • The lurch in leave someone in the lurch, ‘to leave an associate without support when they need it’, derives from French lourche, the name of a 16th-century game resembling backgammon. As well as a game, lurch then was a score or state of play in which one player was enormously ahead of the other. The unsteady, uncontrolled lurch is a different word from the late 17th century—it was originally a sailors' term, which described the sudden leaning of a ship to one side.

Definition of lurch in:

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