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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 (one) in the lurch

To leave or abandon one without assistance in a particularly awkward, difficult, or troublesome situation. The manager will really leave me in the lurch if he decides to quit before this project is finished. When Janet's husband decided to go on a weekend getaway with his friends, he left her in the lurch organizing her kid's birthday party.
See also: leave, 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, someone

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, someone

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 ?
will have safety features that prevent sudden lurching forward or backward when the gasoline engine is restarted.
This willed bluntness of perception is a kind of emotional armor that could cause any of us to end up like the Wildean character Lady Partridge, Gerald Fedden's bigoted mother, a faded belle lurching through her seniority on a palanquin of self-regard.
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.
For the first 46 minutes, 32 seconds, the offensive demonstration was a lurching, wheezing disaster.