lame duck

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Related to lame-duck: Lame-Duck Amendment

lame duck

1. Someone or something that needs help. The company started as a lame duck that was saved by an innovative entrepreneur who decided to take some risks and go in a new direction.
2. An elected official serving their last term in office, usually so-called after a successor has been elected. The opposing party was angry at the president's intention to name a Supreme Court replacement while he was a lame duck.
See also: duck, lame

lame duck

 
1. Fig. someone who is in the last period of a term in an elective office and cannot run for reelection. You can't expect much from a lame duck. As a lame duck, there's not a lot I can do.
2. Fig. having to do with someone in the last period of a term in an elective office. (Used as an adjective; sometimes lame-duck.) You don't expect much from a lame-duck president. Lame-duck Congresses tend to do things they wouldn't dare do otherwise.
See also: duck, lame

lame duck

An elected officeholder whose term of office has not yet expired but who has failed to be re-elected and therefore cannot garner much political support for initiatives. For example, You can't expect a lame duck President to get much accomplished; he's only got a month left in office . This expression originated in the 1700s and then meant a stockbroker who did not meet his debts. It was transferred to officeholders in the 1860s. The Lame Duck Amendment, 20th to the U.S. Constitution, calls for Congress and each new President to take office in January instead of March (as before), thereby eliminating the lame-duck session of Congress.
See also: duck, lame

a lame duck

COMMON
1. If a politician or a government is a lame duck, they have little real power, for example because their period of office is coming to an end. The government is headed by a president who looks like a lame duck. The last thing people needed was to feel that the government was a lame duck. Note: You can also use lame-duck before a noun. He's already seen widely as a lame-duck Prime Minister. He would have found himself leading a lame-duck administration to near-certain defeat.
2. If someone or something is a lame duck, they are in a very weak position and in need of support. The company has completed its transformation from the lame duck of the motor industry into a quality car maker. Moira considers all single people lame ducks. Note: You can also use lame-duck before a noun. It is not right to use taxpayers' money to support lame-duck industries. Note: This expression is usually used to criticize someone or something. Note: The image here is of a duck that has been shot and wounded, and so cannot move properly and is likely to die.
See also: duck, lame

lame duck

a person or thing that is powerless or in need of help. informal
In the mid 18th century, lame duck was used in a stock-market context, with reference to a person or company that could not fulfil their financial obligations. Later, from the mid 19th century, it was used specifically with reference to US politicians in the final period of office, after the election of their successor.
1998 Spectator At some point in his second and final term, every president becomes a lame duck: as the man himself matters less, so does the office.
See also: duck, lame

a ˌlame ˈduck

(informal) a person or an organization that is not very successful and needs help: My uncle is a bit of a lame duck. The family has to help him all the time.The shipping industry had become a lame duck.
See also: duck, lame

lame duck

1. n. someone who is in the last period of a term in an elective office. You can’t expect much from a lame duck.
2. mod. having to do with someone in the last period of a term in an elective office. You don’t expect much from a lame duck president.
See also: duck, lame
References in periodicals archive ?
38) The greater the fear that the political party in power will not get reelected, the greater the risk that the caretaker or lame-duck administration will adopt daring measures in the hope that, if the measures succeed, they will prove fruitful in the upcoming elections.
The bill looks set to languish during the lame-duck session as trade has lower priority than domestic issues like tax cuts and unemployment benefits, congressional aides said on Monday.
Please click here for more on NSBA's lame-duck priorities.
13) But "[t]he lame-duck House of Representatives was controlled by the Federalists, and for many of them, Jefferson was anathema.
If Barkely decides to vote with the Democrats, they would maintain their majority in the lame-duck session.
Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who demanded that their colleagues read the bills before voting on them instead of rushing them through a lame-duck Congress with no consideration or oversight.
Using the Senate's time in the lame-duck session to pay back his liberal political base is simply absurd and demonstrates once again Senator Reid's misplaced priorities.
These proposed data mandates did not advance, but lame-duck TANF extension could include similar legislative language.
Reid, was sent to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell this week urging support for a vote in the lame-duck.
Lame-duck administrations will be the inevitable result and Russians will begin to question the usefulness of a three-month transfer.
It is very likely that Congress will try to enact some kind of expansion of executive surveillance authority, in line with what the White House is demanding, during the lame-duck session.
Asked if Weaver was in lame-duck status before the game, manager Mike Scioscia avoided the question.
But then, pumped up with post-election hubris, they went even further in the lame-duck session of Congress and gave us all a depressing lesson in how narrow-minded politics and weak leadership can undermine what should have been a fairly easy triumph for bipartisanship.
Congress is scheduled to re-convene for a brief lame-duck session on November 15 to address the current spending resolution, which is set to expire on November 20.
There is speculation that Congress might return after the November election for a lame-duck session.