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lurch1

[lurch] /lɜrtʃ/
noun
1.
an act or instance of swaying abruptly.
2.
a sudden tip or roll to one side, as of a ship or a staggering person.
3.
an awkward, swaying or staggering motion or gait.
verb (used without object)
4.
(of a ship) to roll or pitch suddenly.
5.
to make a lurch; move with lurches; stagger:
The wounded man lurched across the room.
Origin
1760-1770
1760-70; origin uncertain
Related forms
lurchingly, adverb
Synonyms
5. lunge, reel, totter.

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
1525-35; < Middle French lourche a game, noun use of lourche (adj.) discomfited < Germanic; compare Middle High German lurz left (hand), Old English belyrtan to deceive

lurch3

[lurch] /lɜrtʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
Archaic. to do out of; defraud; cheat.
2.
Obsolete. to acquire through underhanded means; steal; filch.
verb (used without object)
3.
British Dialect. to lurk near a place; prowl.
noun
4.
Archaic. the act of lurking or state of watchfulness.
Origin
1375-1425; late Middle English lorchen, apparently variant of lurken to lurk
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for lurch
  • There is the lurch of the dogs as the sled slashes through snow.
  • We all lurch and lose our balance-a truly horrifying experience when it happens on a roof.
  • It is found on the roads, where drunkards lurch their uninsured trucks along lanes that exist only in their imagination.
  • In the lurch which she made the shaft of the propeller was suddenly broken.
  • But as elsewhere, these rallies proved an interlude in the sharp downward lurch.
  • Some experts fear today's temperature rise could accelerate into a devastating climate lurch.
  • He parked with a lurch right across the street from us.
  • His eyes seemed to lurch around the room as if he were drunk.
  • Some bosses have fled town, leaving thousands of workers in the lurch.
  • Because their failure would represent another lurch down in the credit crunch.
British Dictionary definitions for 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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lurch
n.

"sudden pitch to one side," 1784, from earlier lee-larches (1765), a nautical term for "the sudden roll which a ship makes to lee-ward in a high sea, when a large wave strikes her, and bears her weather-side violently up, which depresses the other in proportion" ["Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences," London 1765]; perhaps from French lacher "to let go," from Latin laxus (see lax).

When a Ship is brought by the Lee, it is commonly occaſsioned by a large Sea, and by the Neglect of the Helm's-man. When the Wind is two or three Points on the Quarter, the Ship taking a Lurch, brings the Wind on the other Side, and lays the Sails all dead to the Maſt; as the Yards are braced up, ſhe then having no Way, and the Helm being of no Service, I would therefore brace about the Head ſails ſharp the other Way .... [John Hamilton Moore, Practical Navigator, 8th ed., 1784]

"predicament," 1580s, from Middle English lurch (v.) "to beat in a game of skill (often by a great many points)," mid-14c., probably literally "to make a complete victory in lorche," a game akin to backgammon, from Old French lourche. The game name is perhaps related to Middle English lurken, lorken "to lie hidden, lie in ambush," or it may be adopted into French from Middle High German lurz "left," also "wrong."

v.

1821, from lurch (n.1). Related: Lurched; lurching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with lurch

lurch

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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