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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 somebody in the lurch

also leave somebody in a lurch
to cause someone to be in a situation in which they do not have what they need Her ex-husband didn't want to deal with the kids, so she was left in the lurch. Factories here that rely on parts from overseas were suddenly left in the lurch when imports were suspended.
See also: leave, lurch

leave somebody in the lurch

to leave someone at a time when they need you to stay and help them I hope they can find someone to replace me at work. I don't want to leave them in the lurch.
See also: leave, 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

in the lurch

In a difficult or embarrassing position.
See also: lurch
References in periodicals archive ?
will have safety features that prevent sudden lurching forward or backward when the gasoline engine is restarted.
Reservoir Dogs hardman Penn - the brother of Sean Penn - is said to have turned nasty after lurching around the crowded bar shouting at people.
Scraping back through layers of the past we see the future lurching at us, and it's difficult to know where distinctions can be drawn between the natural and the engineered.
The transformation of maiden into nightmare creature is equally appalling--a transformation that Susan Cummins, as Flora, registers with crazed eyes, manic grin, and lurching step.
All of which makes his next project, a Texas location shoot outfitting 1,000 people for The Alamo, seem like such a lurching gearshift.
On a crowded afternoon bus lurching down Broadway from Mid-City to downtown, Elizabeth Gudino stood in the aisle, clinging to the rail as her two young daughters pressed against her.
He's claimed by at least three separate fields: free jazz, which he played in the early '70s with the group Lost Aaraaff: lurching, aggressive rock improvisation, which he plays with his electric trio Fushitsusha; and "pure improvisation," a category that only by failure of marketing logic includes both space-out artists (ambient music, by another name) and sobersided formal abstractionists (like the English guitarist Derek Bailey).
The 1960s sometimes seemed to be lurching out of control, and many of the values we took for granted were put on trial--and found deficient.
With their size and depth, the Bears are another difficult matchup for a UCLA team lurching and lunging toward Selection Sunday.
Its images - subjectively sequenced, and lurching toward a hermetically cohesive classification system, but shorn of essay-peaks entirely for itself, articulating and classifying a sexual sublanguage that has percolated and mutated inside U.
Making his second appearance at the parade was a solo, lurching Uncle Fester.
The car halts at a stop sign or intersection, seemingly open to attack, before lurching forward toward some unknown destination.
For the first 46 minutes, 32 seconds, the offensive demonstration was a lurching, wheezing disaster.
By cultivating other interests, winking at the life-or-death gravity assigned to his profession, wearing bandannas around his neck and lurching through sentences in an attempt to avoid cliches and finger-pointing, Seifert planted himself on the quirky side of the coaching profile.
He is a time bomb of a manchild, lurching on, his destructive behavior a cannon shot across the bow of a boat that won't stop.