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lurk

[lurk] /lɜrk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to lie or wait in concealment, as a person in ambush; remain in or around a place secretly or furtively.
2.
to go furtively; slink; steal.
3.
to exist unperceived or unsuspected.
4.
Chiefly Computers. to read or observe an ongoing discussion without participating in it, as on a message board.
noun, Australian Informal.
5.
an underhand scheme; dodge.
6.
an easy, somewhat lazy or unethical way of earning a living, performing a task, etc.
7.
a hideout.
Origin of lurk
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English lurken, frequentative of lower2; compare Norwegian lurka to sneak away
Related forms
lurker, noun
lurking, noun
lurkingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. Lurk, skulk, sneak, prowl suggest avoiding observation, often because of a sinister purpose. To lurk is to lie in wait for someone or to hide about a place, often without motion, for periods of time. Skulk suggests cowardliness and stealth of movement. Sneak emphasizes the attempt to avoid being seen. It has connotations of slinking and of an abject meanness of manner, whether there exists a sinister intent or the desire to avoid punishment for some misdeed. Prowl implies the definite purpose of seeking for prey; it suggests continuous action in roaming or wandering, slowly and quietly but watchfully, as a cat that is hunting mice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lurking
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I had a lurking doubt that he was rebuking me for my vanity.

  • And in the low bushes could be discerned the lurking, furtive, shadowy jackals.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • Into his expression came a lurking, half-shy ghost of winsomeness.

    The Tempering Charles Neville Buck
  • And that lurking vanity of the inferior to lessen his own inferiority did the rest.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • Have you been lurking about the school all that time and never came and asked good old Mary Ann for something decent to eat?

British Dictionary definitions for lurking

lurking

/ˈlɜːkɪŋ/
adjective
1.
lingering and persistent, though unsuspected or unacknowledged: a lurking suspicion
2.
dimly perceived: a lurking shape half concealed in the shadows

lurk

/lɜːk/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to move stealthily or be concealed, esp for evil purposes
2.
to be present in an unobtrusive way; go unnoticed
3.
to read messages posted on an electronic network without contributing messages oneself
noun
4.
(Austral & NZ, slang) a scheme or stratagem for success
Derived Forms
lurker, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably frequentative of lour; compare Middle Dutch loeren to lie in wait
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 lurking

lurk

v.

c.1300, lurken "to hide, lie hidden," probably from Scandinavian (cf. dialectal Norwegian lurka "to sneak away," dialectal Swedish lurka "to be slow in one's work"), perhaps ultimately related to Middle English luren "to frown, lurk" (see lower (v.2)). Related: Lurked; lurking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for lurking

lurk

verb

  1. To ride about looking for sex partners; cruise: Me and the boys are going lurken' tonight to pick up some foxy broads (1960s+ Black)
  2. : Lurk: To log onto a bulletin board and read the discussion without participating or making your presence known (1990s+ Computer)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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lurking in Technology

messaging, jargon
The activity of one of the "silent majority" in a electronic forum such as Usenet; posting occasionally or not at all but reading the group's postings regularly. This term is not pejorative and indeed is casually used reflexively: "Oh, I'm just lurking". Often used in "the lurkers", the hypothetical audience for the group's flamage-emitting regulars.
Lurking and reading the FAQ are recommended netiquette for beginners who need to learn the history and practises of the group before posting.
(1997-06-14)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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