leave someone in the 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
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