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be left in the lurch

To be left or abandoned without assistance in a particularly awkward, difficult, or troublesome situation. (Sometimes written as "left in a lurch.") I'll really be left in the lurch if the manager decides to quit before this project is finished. Janet was left in a lurch organizing her kid's birthday party when her husband decided to go on a weekend getaway with his friends.
See also: left, lurch

leave someone in the lurch

Fig. to leave someone waiting for or anticipating your actions. Where were you, John? You really left me in the lurch. I didn't mean to leave you in the lurch. I thought we had canceled our meeting.
See also: leave, lurch

lurch at someone or something

 and lurch toward someone Or something
to sway or turn quickly toward someone or something. Todd lurched at the door and got it open just as the guard saw him. Bill lurched toward the ship's rail and hung on.
See also: lurch

lurch forward

to jerk or sway forward. The car lurched forward and shook us around. When the train lurched forward, we were pushed back into our seats.
See also: forward, lurch

leave in the lurch

Abandon or desert someone in difficult straits. For example, Jane was angry enough to quit without giving notice, leaving her boss in the lurch. This expression alludes to a 16th-century French dice game, lourche, where to incur a lurch meant to be far behind the other players. It later was used in cribbage and other games, as well as being used in its present figurative sense by about 1600.
See also: leave, lurch

leave someone in the lurch

COMMON If someone leaves you in the lurch, they put you in a difficult situation by suddenly going away or stopping helping you. My secretary left me in the lurch last month and I haven't found a replacement yet. The airline has shut down, leaving thousands of ticket holders in the lurch. Note: In the card game cribbage, a player is left in a position known as the lurch when an opponent has scored 51 points before the player has managed to either score 31 points or move their peg around the first corner of the board that is used to keep the score.
See also: leave, lurch

leave someone in the lurch

leave an associate or friend abruptly and without assistance or support when they are in a difficult situation.
Lurch as a noun meaning ‘a state of discomfiture’ dates from the mid 16th century but it is now used only in this idiom.
1987 Eileen Dunlop The House on the Hill What have Gilmores ever done but leave her in the lurch? Poor Jane, she just can't run the risk of being hurt again.
See also: leave, lurch

leave somebody in the ˈlurch

(informal) leave somebody who is in a difficult situation and needs your help: You can’t resign now and leave us all in the lurch. It wouldn’t be fair.
See also: leave, lurch, somebody

in the lurch

In a difficult or embarrassing position.
See also: lurch
References in periodicals archive ?
Ghostly pale models in spooky eye make-up lurched down the runway wearing huge jackets, with oversized shoulders and bulging limbs.
But the "co-pilot" - an engineer with no flying experience - accidentally hit the throttle and the bomber lurched 150ft into the air.
Norwich North MP Ian Gibson said the Home Office lurched "from one scandal to the next" as it emerged that Turk Bilal Darioglu, 30, raped the woman days after immigration officials had been sent to seize him.
A MONGREL that lurched at a mother and child on a city street faces being destroyed unless claimed by today.
The search follows the forced resignations of two former directors of the Department of Children and Family Services in the past three years as the county's foster care system has lurched from crisis to crisis.
And on 90 minutes Lurch lurched to his left to turn away the rampant Smith.
Investors braced for an ugly open to Monday's trading session, as Wall Street lurched on news of another plane crash in New York City in early morning hours.
When he lurched out at midnight, however, he looked like he'd been knocking back the pina coladas with Rodney, Trigger and Boycey.
30 when a car driven by a 65-year-old woman lurched out of control and plowed into a crowd of parents, teachers and students.
But the car lurched back and the open driver's door knocked her to the ground.
Angus Buchanan, 45, and Holly, 13, of Glasgow, were killed when their dinghy lurched, throwing them into the water, on March 13.
Stella Kline, 50, said her chair lurched into a few feet of water Thursday afternoon.
Fans had crowded around the 32-yearold model before the car lurched forward into a bollard outside the Phoenix Theatre.
WOODLAND HILLS - With a wobbly, tentative gait, Juliet the gray- and-white terrier mix lurched forward into a stranger's lap, stretching her body upward to lick the man's chin with her tiny pink tongue.
Dr Salim Verjee was fatally injured when the car lurched forward just moments after the lad had got behind the wheel for a lesson with his brother.