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 ?
Former House historian Ray Smock says canceling the lame-duck session would be unprecedented but not illegal.
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 other high priority of the lame-duck session will be passing legislation to fund a range of government programmes.
Please click here for more on NSBA's lame-duck priorities.
How much is accomplished in the lame-duck session depends on who controls Congress when the election is over--and by how large a majority.
The bill faces problems in the lame-duck session that will occur in mid-November because of opposition from Democrats in the House and the fact that Sen.
The Senate considered the treaty as the first measure of serious business during its lame-duck session following the election of 1800.
Republicans could pick up another vote in the lame-duck session if Independent David Barkley, who was appointed by Minnesota Gov.
In enacting it into our fundamental law, Americans believed they were reducing the lame-duck problem to vestigial proportions (Nagle 1997).
GATT--The House and Senate will return at the end of November for a special lame-duck session to act on legislation implementing a new world trade agreement strengthening the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
Fred Barnes named him "America's greatest lame-duck President," and Donaldson praised the "round of remarkable things" he did in his last few weeks in office.
3 trillion spending bill he had tried to ram through the lame-duck Congress.
Washington, Dec 23(ANI): United States President Barack Obama has hailed the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress, which came to an end on Wednesday, as the "most productive post-election period in decades".
This original fund would receive $500 million for FY 2011 and a little more than $600 million for FY 2012, but the 2012 amount would most likely be used as a source of budgetary offsets for other spending priorities that may or may not be addressed during the lame-duck session.
has supported the measure and announced that the House will take a vote on the bill during the lame-duck session this year.