noun[usually in singular]
- An abrupt uncontrolled movement, especially an unsteady tilt or roll: the boat gave a violent lurch, and he missed his footingMore 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 nextMore 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.
late 17th century (as a noun denoting the sudden leaning of a ship to one side): of unknown origin.
noun(in phrase leave someone in the lurch)
- Leave an associate or friend abruptly and without assistance or support in a difficult situation.More 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.
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'.