Definition of lurgy in English:



  • An unspecified or indeterminate illness.

    ‘I had caught the dreaded lurgy’
    • ‘During the past four days at home with the dreaded lurgy, I've discovered something.’
    • ‘I've woken up feeling thick-headed, and since I know what a sick building I work in, and since everyone else has had it before me, I'm taking the day off before the lurgy gets me.’
    • ‘I've got the office lurgy, feeling like hell (if the first person who got it didn't come in but just kept it safely at home how much better the world would be!) so I might not be back for a day or so.’
    • ‘He, too, may one day be struck with the dreaded lurgy.’
    • ‘And I'm gagging to go swimming, which I can't do while I've still got the lurgy.’
    • ‘For example, when I was in primary school I learned that boys are icky and should you touch them you'll get cooties or, even worse, the lurgy and everyone will run away from you.’
    • ‘Meanwhile the dreaded lurgy has returned, along with what seems to be the start of a cold so I'm going to sip some hot tea and think about another warm bath and an early night.’
    • ‘Another 24 hours later and the lurgy was still there.’
    • ‘Other than that, I've mostly been sitting at home, writing and coughing, courtesy of the manky lurgy that's going round at the moment that lingered for nearly a month.’
    • ‘So there we are, the entire human part of the establishment stricken with the deadly lurgy, leaving Harry and Dolly to entertain themselves.’
    • ‘There are numerous bugs, beasties and lurgies out there waiting to attack your trees and shrubs.’
    • ‘On top of all this I then learn that not only is Iain down with the lurgy, but that Emily is giving up smoking.’
    • ‘I'm going to enjoy watching everyone's beautiful shawls roll in, which recovering from the nasty lurgy.’
    • ‘He gets whisked off to a badly-run NHS hospital, where a scabby and underpaid nurse who is ill because she can't afford blankets sneezes all over Bob's wound, giving him a nasty lurgy, and he dies.’
    • ‘Good thing I did all that Arsenal stuff yesterday, I'm lumbered with the lurgy and feel like I have a sponge for a brain.’
    • ‘I've got the lurgy and I don't feel too well at all.’
    • ‘NYE's excesses (and they were excessive - in a nice way) have left my immune system a little lax, and so the lurgy got in.’
    • ‘Having suffered from the dreaded lurgy all last week, it was quite a telling sign that, for the first time in the past seven days, I suddenly found I had an appetite again.’
    • ‘Course I say that in the full knowledge that there hasn't been an outbreak of the lurgy in the England camp for a couple of months so my optimism could prove to be as ridiculous as ever.’
    • ‘Working long days with even a hint of the lurgy just isn't right, and just causes the bloody thing to spread.’


1950s (originally spelled lurgi): used in the British radio series The Goon Show and probably invented by its writers, though possibly from an English dialect term.