Definition of lame duck in English:

lame duck


  • 1An ineffectual or unsuccessful person or thing.

    ‘most of her boyfriends have been lame ducks’
    • ‘Lucky Day is a real lame duck: 15 songs long with not a tune in sight.’
    • ‘Unless Merkel is able to swing a large percentage of Germany's 30% of undecided voters over to her side, the country could be saddled with a lame-duck government due to the complex nature of German coalition politics.’
    • ‘He would be a lame duck and he does not need that sort of hassle.’
    • ‘The Department of Homeland Security, most observers agree, has been a lame duck, a victim of the rush of resources to Iraq.’
    • ‘They simply cannot afford any more lame ducks in the camp.’
    • ‘He was variously described as too old, a lame duck, even a time - server with little chance of turning around the then ailing retail group.’
    • ‘Once known as the Bulldozer, he increasingly looks like a lame duck instead.’
    • ‘And could it turn an 800-pound gorilla into a lame duck if they don't?’
    • ‘When nationalised industries turned into lame ducks, as almost all of them did over the following decades, they were subsidised by the taxpayer, often through the sale of long-term bonds.’
    • ‘Never has the term lame duck been more appropriate.’
    • ‘The phrase lame duck was being bandied about to describe the manager, though since he had banned all contact with the press, never in his earshot.’
    • ‘Yet, without strong and committed patrons, there is a real danger that he could become an ineffectual lame duck quite soon.’
    • ‘Subsidy need not be the same as propping up lame ducks.’
    • ‘Kennett was out the door straight after the meeting, presumably wondering how his $5 million paper profit on that DCL shareholding turned into a lame duck.’
    • ‘Instead we seem inescapably on course to end up with a lame duck park, with a mangled boundary and pitifully truncated planning powers.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the FSA said: ‘This is not about propping up lame ducks.’’
    • ‘There's too much excellent British comedy at the moment - League Of Gentlemen, Spaced, Cold Feet - to waste space in the schedules on what is, if not a Christmas turkey, then definitely a lame duck.’
    • ‘One source close to RBOS told this newspaper the bank was not interested in buying a lame duck bank to further its ambitious strategy in the Irish market.’
    • ‘Then United Future came out with an absolutely lame-duck report saying they would be supporting the bill, so long as there was a corresponding reduction in taxation.’
    • ‘It was ever a lame duck, and throwing money at it to save votes and curry favour with trade unions was never going to work.’
    1. 1.1North American A politician or administration in the final period of office, after the election of a successor.
      [as modifier] ‘a lame-duck president’
      • ‘Some critics carp that the trip is just a tourist jaunt by a lame-duck president.’
      • ‘But even as Giuliani's prominence in the city's recovery grows, his lame-duck status may hinder his efforts with the legislature.’
      • ‘During a long, drawn-out period in which he was essentially a lame-duck driver, Sadler never stopped being publicly gracious toward the team he was leaving.’
      • ‘The lame-duck president urged Vietnam's control-minded leaders not to resist further opening up to the world and said the U.S. stands ready to help Vietnam seize the opportunities of a global economy.’
      • ‘Sharon thus did not manage to win the required support of 61 members in the Knesset, leaving him in charge of a lame-duck administration whose policies can be blocked by his opponents.’
      • ‘Congress today returning for a lame-duck session following the stunning Republican gains in the general election.’
      • ‘A more plausible version of the next few years is that the prime minister is seen increasingly as a lame-duck leader presiding over a cabinet frozen by the fear of doing anything unpopular in case it hampers their own leadership ambitions.’
      • ‘When Bush proclaimed homeland security the main business of the lame-duck session, the Democrats meekly complied.’
      • ‘That Clinton's final budget is quite openly tailored to meet the needs of Wall Street while ignoring the acute social problems facing masses of Americans cannot be attributed to the political weakness of a lame-duck president.’
      • ‘This means Kim will have to forge a new coalition if he is not to serve out the remaining three years as a lame-duck president.’
      • ‘Sure, there are some folks out there who think that it is a touch odd that Fassel would stick around as a lame-duck coach for the final two games, but with roughly nine days left in the regular season, it's not that bizarre.’
      • ‘As a result, the Chen administration has become a lame-duck administration during the interim period before the year-end legislative elections.’
      • ‘He's already a lame-duck leader, but if the nuclear-option strategy falls apart, Frist may have to give up his leadership post.’
      • ‘We cannot limp along with no policy, no one obeying the Deputy Prime Minister and a lack-lustre, do-nothing government with a lame-duck leader.’
      • ‘And President Bush is learning the lesson that on your first day of your second term, you're a lame-duck president.’
      • ‘This will allow Pitt to remain temporarily as a lame-duck chairman, helping to stall any reform proposals.’
      • ‘But the fact that it was a lame-duck president making the statement was somewhat downplayed in the news.’
      • ‘Leading American satirist PJ O'Rourke prefers a lame-duck president to a man who stands for nothing, he tells Stuart Wavell’
      • ‘Before the speech started, one commentator said Bush ran the risk of being a lame-duck president for the next three years.’
      • ‘The Tyneside North MP looks increasingly like a lame-duck minister who will finally slip from sight at the next reshuffle.’


lame duck