Definition of lurk in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /lərk/


[no object]
1(Of a person or animal) be or remain hidden so as to wait in ambush for someone or something: a ruthless killer still lurked in the darkness
More example sentences
  • He kept toward the centre of the street-like corridors and avoided getting too close to the alleys, who knew what predator lurked in the darkness?
  • In the case of the Kalundu killing, the assailants must have been lurking in the vicinity waiting for their victim.
  • A grove of crotons became a magical jungle where snakes and other exotic creatures lurked, waiting to pounce.
skulk, loiter, lie in wait, lie low, hide, conceal oneself, take cover, keep out of sight
1.1(Of an unpleasant quality) be present in a latent or barely discernible state, although still presenting a threat: fear lurks beneath the surface (as adjective lurking) he lives with a lurking fear of exposure as a fraud
More example sentences
  • ‘What an appetite you have,’ my sister said with acidity lurking beneath her fake sweetness.
  • Neither Wheaton nor Fu deals directly with the issue of the noisiness in house prices, although it lurks beneath the surface of Fu's model.
  • While quality is my priority, quantity is always lurking close behind, lingering like an embarrassed little brother.
1.2 informal Read the postings on an Internet message board or in a chat room without making any contribution oneself.
Example sentences
  • They don't read blogs, lurk in chatrooms or give much weight to professional media critics.
  • The world is full of very lonely people, and it's safe to assume that a lot of people lurking and talking in online chat rooms are among them.
  • I lurk on SIG listservs and go to SIG websites to get a picture of the issues being brought forward and discussed.


Middle English: perhaps from lour + the frequentative suffix -k (as in talk).

Words that rhyme with lurk

berk, berserk, Burke, cirque, dirk, Dunkirk, erk, irk, kirk, mirk, murk, outwork, perk, quirk, shirk, smirk, stirk, Turk, work

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lurk

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.