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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
sb's stomach lurches/tightens (=it suddenly feels tight because they are frightened)
▪ Her stomach lurched at the thought of leaving Millfield.
▪ The chassis lurched forward and then back sharply, knocking the four passengers off balance.
▪ I fell, picked myself up, lurched forward another yard or two, then fell again.
▪ He lurched forward and groped his way up the staircase, gasping and retching in the stale air.
▪ On our left, Sherman and Daisy kept lagging back and then lurching forward, sometimes beside and sometimes behind us.
▪ He lurched forward involuntarily through the entrance, and almost fell at the feet of the chief.
▪ Bright flash in the sky, the way the aircraft lurched forward like a car Jolted in heavy traffic.
▪ I lurched forward and later couldn't recall any part of my journey to the office.
▪ Just as I was about to jump, the driver hit the gas and lurched forward, throwing me off.
▪ An unskilled smallholder is likely to lurch from crisis to crisis.
▪ All these legislative changes have made it increasingly difficult for local authorities to avoid appearing to lurch from crisis to crisis.
▪ Squalls will buffet it, but the ship of government may no longer be destined to lurch permanently from crisis to crisis.
▪ Britain lurched from one economic crisis to another under both Labour and Conservative governments.
▪ Athelstan looked sideways at Benedicta and his heart lurched.
▪ Lexandro's heart lurched, and a certain awe invaded him.
▪ I felt my stomach lurch and my heart beat a little faster.
▪ Gao Yang jerked his head around, as his stomach lurched and a pocket of air rushed noisily to his throat.
▪ Harriet lurched towards the bathroom, clutching her stomach in pain.
▪ Paul lurched sideways as the boat rolled suddenly.
▪ As the developer lurched toward bankruptcy, Prudential tried to renege on the deal.
▪ By the time they were lurching slowly along the cart track the wind had dropped, letting the clouds gather.
▪ Certainly his career has lurched chaotically, Gilliam says.
▪ The chassis lurched forward and then back sharply, knocking the four passengers off balance.
▪ The Ship lurched up the hillside, straining at the indignity of restraint.
▪ The truck smashed into the barrier, broke through it, lurched down an embankment.
▪ Then, hunching his shoulders against the pounding rain, he lurched towards the barn.
▪ With an angry clang the machine lurched and rocked out even more.
▪ My stomach gave an involuntary lurch.
▪ The car gives a sickening lurch as if you ran over a small bump.
▪ Jessamy's stomach gave an uncomfortable lurch.
▪ Then her heart gave a little lurch as she met his eyes.
▪ Soon she would know ... But when she finally arrived at the little mews her heart gave a lurch.
▪ Blue eyes that made her heart give an alarming little lurch.
▪ Her heart gave an unsteady lurch.
▪ She had never got over that chap who left her in the lurch all those years ago.
▪ The non-commissioned officers of the garrison on learning that they had been left in the lurch seized four of the remaining leaders.
▪ Fast, seem Godly, Pray, and go to Church - the Rhyme will be left in the lurch else.
▪ How can we leave them in the lurch, in their teens, like that?
▪ I wouldn't leave her in the lurch.
▪ But I won't leave you in the lurch even if that time comes.
▪ "I felt a lurch and then a big bump," one resident said of the earthquake.
▪ But they adopted it in the first place because Labour's lurch to the left drove them away from their old allegiance.
▪ He was slew-footed and walked with an energetic lurch.
▪ How can we leave them in the lurch, in their teens, like that?
▪ I waited for the lurch of dismounting troopers as the skids neared the ground.
▪ My stomach gave an involuntary lurch.
▪ The non-commissioned officers of the garrison on learning that they had been left in the lurch seized four of the remaining leaders.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Lurch \Lurch\, v. i. [L. lurcare, lurcari.] To swallow or eat greedily; to devour; hence, to swallow up.

Too far off from great cities, which may hinder business; too near them, which lurcheth all provisions, and maketh everything dear.


Lurch \Lurch\, v. i. [A variant of lurk.]

  1. To withdraw to one side, or to a private place; to lurk.

  2. To dodge; to shift; to play tricks.

    I . . . am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch.


Lurch \Lurch\, v. t.

  1. To leave in the lurch; to cheat. [Obs.]

    Never deceive or lurch the sincere communicant.

  2. To steal; to rob. [Obs.]

    And in the brunt of seventeen battles since He lurched all swords of the garland.


Lurch \Lurch\, n. [OF. lourche name of a game; as adj., deceived, embarrassed.]

  1. An old game played with dice and counters; a variety of the game of tables.

  2. A double score in cribbage for the winner when his adversary has been left in the lurch. Lady --- has cried her eyes out on losing a lurch. --Walpole. To leave one in the lurch.

    1. In the game of cribbage, to leave one's adversary so far behind that the game is won before he has scored thirty-one.

    2. To leave one behind; hence, to abandon, or fail to stand by, a person in a difficulty.

      But though thou'rt of a different church, I will not leave thee in the lurch.


Lurch \Lurch\, n. [Cf. W. llerch, llerc, a frisk, a frisking backward or forward, a loitering, a lurking, a lurking, llercian, llerciaw, to be idle, to frisk; or perh. fr. E. lurch to lurk.] A sudden roll of a ship to one side, as in heavy weather; hence, a swaying or staggering movement to one side, as that by a drunken man. Fig.: A sudden and capricious inclination of the mind.


Lurch \Lurch\ (l[^u]rch), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Lurched (l[^u]rcht); p. pr. & vb. n. Lurching.] To roll or sway suddenly to one side, as a ship or a drunken man; to move forward while lurching.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"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).\n\nWhen 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."


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


Etymology 1 n. A sudden or unsteady movement. vb. To make such a sudden, unsteady movement. Etymology 2

vb. (context obsolete English) To swallow or eat greedily; to devour; hence, to swallow up. Etymology 3

n. 1 An old game played with dice and counters; a variety of the game of tables. 2 A double score in cribbage for the winner when his/her adversary has been leave someone in the lurch. vb. 1 (context obsolete English) To leave someone in the lurch; to cheat. 2 (context obsolete English) To steal; to rob.

  1. n. an unsteady uneven gait [syn: stumble, stagger]

  2. a decisive defeat in a game (especially in cribbage)

  3. abrupt up-and-down motion (as caused by a ship or other conveyance); "the pitching and tossing was quite exciting" [syn: pitch, pitching]

  4. the act of moving forward suddenly [syn: lunge]

  5. v. walk as if unable to control one's movements; "The drunken man staggered into the room" [syn: stagger, reel, keel, swag, careen]

  6. move abruptly; "The ship suddenly lurched to the left" [syn: pitch, shift]

  7. move slowly and unsteadily; "The truck lurched down the road"

  8. loiter about, with no apparent aim [syn: prowl]

  9. defeat by a lurch [syn: skunk]


Lurch may refer to:


  • Lurch (The Addams Family), fictional butler in the 1960s American television series
  • Lurch McDuck, fictional character, Scrooge McDuck's cousin, in the 1968 Disney story
  • Lurch (EP), released in 1990 by Steel Pole Bath Tub

As a nickname:

  • Björn Andersson (handballer) (born 1950), Swedish former handball player
  • Gene Brabender (1941-1996), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Robert Jackson, musician with New Birth (band)
  • John O'Neill (rugby league) (1943-1999), Australian rugby league player

Other uses:

  • LURCH, software tool for debugging
  • Jerk (physics), also known as lurch, the rate of change of acceleration
  • Lurch, a Ankole-Watusi steer holding world record for horn circumference
Lurch (EP)

Lurch is an EP by Steel Pole Bath Tub, released in 1990 by Boner Records.

Lurch (The Addams Family)

Lurch (whose first name is unknown) is a fictional character created by American cartoonist Charles Addams as a manservant to The Addams Family. In the original television series, Lurch was played by Ted Cassidy, who used the famous catchphrase, "You rang?" (a similar phrase was the trademark of the character Maynard G. Krebs in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis).

When the phrase was delivered in the actor's slow basso profondo voice, producers found it so funny that it was incorporated into the show despite the character having been intended as a non-speaking part. Cassidy also voiced the character in the first animated series, as well as the episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies cartoon that preceded it.

In the second animated series, Lurch was voiced by Jim Cummings. Carel Struycken played Lurch in the later films. In The New Addams Family series, Lurch was portrayed by Canadian actor John DeSantis. Zachary James recently performed this character in the Broadway musical and Ben Hudson plays the role in the Sydney, Australia, production of the same musical.

Usage examples of "lurch".

The man lurched back, one hand grasping, then pulling at the adze wedged in his shoulder.

The plastic aerator valves, surgically stitched in his chest, pulled and twisted and seemed to tear with each lurch of his body.

The guests at the Albergo Monte Gazza peered at one another over dinner through a gradually deepening gloom, enlivened by occasional lurches towards complete darkness.

He flung the door wide and lurched out, a sure target for Renz, who swung his gun toward Alker before The Shadow could stop him.

Feeling that she had failed, with a movement like the sudden lurch of a ship, Atene thrust at Ayesha, proposing to hurl her to destruction in the depths beneath.

The autocar lurched to a halt, and Holmes used the momentum to leap from the seat to the roadway.

The Biter lurched, as the helmsman pulled her round a point or so nearer the wind to keep the channel.

Shahin was blindfolding the camels as they lurched against him, crying with their hoarse, braying voices.

With his gaff, the gaffman hooks on to a sheet of blubber, and strives to hold it from slipping, as the ship pitches and lurches about.

Transcendental missionary lurched out of the crowd, her begging terminal extended in both hands, and Booly circled to the left.

It is a story, and for that reason, the effect of superlative cinematography must be broken as the body pulls itself to the door, lurches through, and stumbles to grasp at the edge of a chest-high wooden counter.

Polly took no notice as the carriage lurched along the dark lanes from Wood bridge to Dilling ham.

The drome was lurching towards her, podgy white fingers grasping the air.

She walked in a circle around Lady Sunshine, while Lady Sunshine watched her with a wary rotating eye, ready to lurch if the dryad attempted to move in her direction.

He tensed a little and his hand gripped the butt as Eggy lurched toward him.