|1.||a person or thing that is disabled or ineffectual|
|2.||stock exchange a speculator who cannot discharge his liabilities|
|3.||a company with a large workforce and high prestige that is unable to meet foreign competition without government support|
|a. an elected official or body of officials remaining in office in the interval between the election and inauguration of a successor|
|b. (as modifier): a lame-duck president|
|5.||(US) (modifier) designating a term of office after which the officeholder will not run for re-election|
"A lame duck is a man who cannot pay his differences, and is said to waddle off." [Thomas Love Peacock, "Gryll Grange," 1861]Sometimes also in naval use for "an old, slow ship." Modern sense of "public official serving out term after an election" is recorded by 1878 in Amer.Eng., from an anecdote published in that year of President Lincoln, who is alleged to have said, "[A] senator or representative out of business is a sort of lame duck. He has to be provided for."
A public official or administration serving out a term in office after having been defeated for reelection or when not seeking reelection.
An elected officeholder whose term of office has not yet expired but who has failed to be re-elected and therefore cannot garner much political support for initiatives. For example, You can't expect a lame duck President to get much accomplished; he's only got a month left in office. This expression originated in the 1700s and then meant a stockbroker who did not meet his debts. It was transferred to officeholders in the 1860s. The Lame Duck Amendment, 20th to the U.S. Constitution, calls for Congress and each new President to take office in January instead of March (as before), thereby eliminating the lame-duck session of Congress.