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lurch2

[lurch] /lɜrtʃ/
noun
1.
a situation at the close of various games in which the loser scores nothing or is far behind the opponent.
Idioms
2.
leave in the lurch, to leave in an uncomfortable or desperate situation; desert in time of trouble:
Our best salesperson left us in the lurch at the peak of the busy season.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Middle French lourche a game, noun use of lourche (adj.) discomfited < Germanic; compare Middle High German lurz left (hand), Old English belyrtan to deceive
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for leave in lurch

lurch1

/lɜːtʃ/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to lean or pitch suddenly to one side
2.
to stagger or sway
noun
3.
the act or an instance of lurching
Derived Forms
lurching, adjective
Word Origin
C19: origin unknown

lurch2

/lɜːtʃ/
noun
1.
leave someone in the lurch, to desert someone in trouble
2.
(cribbage) the state of a losing player with less than 30 points at the end of a game (esp in the phrase in the lurch)
Word Origin
C16: from French lourche a game similar to backgammon, apparently from lourche (adj) deceived, probably of Germanic origin

lurch3

/lɜːtʃ/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (archaic or dialect) to prowl or steal about suspiciously
Word Origin
C15: perhaps a variant of lurk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for leave in lurch
lurch
"sudden pitch to one side," 1819 (in Byron's "Don Juan"), from earlier lee-larch (1769), a nautical term for "sudden violent roll to leeward which a ship often takes in a high sea," perhaps from Fr. lacher "to let go," from L. laxus (see lax).
lurch
"predicament," 1584, from M.E. lurch (v.) "to beat in a game of skill (often by a great many points)," c.1350, probably lit. "to make a complete victory in lorche," a game akin to backgammon, from O.Fr. lourche. The game name is perhaps related to M.E. lurken, lorken "to lie hidden, lie in ambush," or it may be adopted into Fr. from M.H.G. lurz "left," also "wrong."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with leave in lurch
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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