Definition of lurk in US English:

lurk

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial of place (of a person or animal) be or remain hidden so as to wait in ambush for someone or something.

    ‘a ruthless killer still lurked in the darkness’
    • ‘And the truth was, the photographer might have been lurking about waiting for such a photograph.’
    • ‘Deer love to play by the sides of the roads, waiting and lurking for the unsuspecting car to travel by.’
    • ‘I guess it's always been there, lurking, waiting for the occasion to show up.’
    • ‘In the case of the Kalundu killing, the assailants must have been lurking in the vicinity waiting for their victim.’
    • ‘Trolling a large lure in mid-river was the undoing of the monster predator that was lurking in the deep section’
    • ‘As the name of the bay suggests, tiger sharks lurk nearby, waiting for opportune times to attack.’
    • ‘Surprises and plotters lurk along the road ahead waiting to ambush him.’
    • ‘He could feel creatures all around him, lurking, waiting to sink their teeth and claws into his flesh.’
    • ‘Until Sasquatch was cornered, Santee would lurk in the background waiting to strike.’
    • ‘Criminals, terrorists and sexual predators seem to be lurking around every corner.’
    • ‘They planned their attack for when we all came back from Vivienne's funeral, lurking in wait in our respective rooms.’
    • ‘He kept toward the centre of the street-like corridors and avoided getting too close to the alleys, who knew what predator lurked in the darkness?’
    • ‘Whatever it was out there amongst the ferns, he didn't know, but it was lurking, waiting.’
    • ‘It was all too easy to imagine one saw the gleam of metal as Rim troops lurked in ambush.’
    • ‘They always lurk behind me, waiting with their jaws open, licking their lips.’
    • ‘The killer could have been lurking in the shadows, watching them.’
    • ‘Eyes lurked in the shadows waiting for the right moment to strike.’
    • ‘A grove of crotons became a magical jungle where snakes and other exotic creatures lurked, waiting to pounce.’
    • ‘Men were lurking around here, waiting for a cute lady to walk by.’
    • ‘We cut through open remains of stern cabins, the galley and engine room, working up to the wheelhouse, where a large grouper lurks behind the remains of the steering binnacle.’
    skulk, loiter, lie in wait, lie low, hide, conceal oneself, take cover, keep out of sight
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of an unpleasant quality) be present in a latent or barely discernible state, although still presenting a threat.
      ‘fear lurks beneath the surface’
      ‘he lives with a lurking fear of exposure as a fraud’
      • ‘Although depression, anxiety and shame may lurk beneath the surface, what's on the table is usually relationship problems.’
      • ‘And, on the odd occasion, she did get a glimpse of a violent temper lurking beneath the calm surface of his apparent good nature.’
      • ‘In a neighbourhood overrun by gang warfare, violence lurks constantly beneath the surface, frequently spilling over to the doorstep of the Macleans' cramped apartment.’
      • ‘It is frankly difficult not to smell like something, given the plethora of fragrances lurking in every product.’
      • ‘Even if voters navigate those dangers, another shoal lurks beneath their bow.’
      • ‘Neither Wheaton nor Fu deals directly with the issue of the noisiness in house prices, although it lurks beneath the surface of Fu's model.’
      • ‘And after so many years lurking mournfully in the shadows, who could deny Ford the chance to steal some of Daddy's limelight?’
      • ‘It might also liberate some telling numbers already lurking in file drawers upstairs.’
      • ‘‘What an appetite you have,’ my sister said with acidity lurking beneath her fake sweetness.’
      • ‘She stopped, sighing and expelling an amount of tension lurking in her body.’
      • ‘Given the multitude of viruses lurking in animals, it will be impossible to breed germ free ‘donors.’’
      • ‘Incredibly, that's only a third of it; the remainder lurks underneath the earth's surface.’
      • ‘I have to admit that when I first eyed the title of Walker's memoir a measurable amount of suspicion lurked in my heart.’
      • ‘Our personality develops under the shadows of a latent fear lurking behind us always.’
      • ‘To outsiders this might appear to be a perfect relationship, but danger can lurk beneath the calm surface.’
      • ‘While quality is my priority, quantity is always lurking close behind, lingering like an embarrassed little brother.’
      • ‘A barely seen danger lurks just out of sight, becoming more bold with the approach of night fall.’
      • ‘Even in the glory days of Hollywood, there was always scandal lurking just beneath the surface.’
      • ‘It becomes a battle of wills between the cop and the crazy for the life of the girl, although lurking beneath such intimations of horror is a modicum of respect.’
      • ‘It's nice to have that leeway, in case there are any bad days lurking.’
    2. 1.2informal Read the postings on an Internet message board or in a chat room without making any contribution oneself.
      • ‘He'd link and lurk, and occasionally carefully compose a question, and send the discussion into the group and get an answer.’
      • ‘Here's the idea - lurk around on a few discussion boards and poach some of the good ideas you see there.’
      • ‘They grab tickets en masse for scalpers, lurk in chat rooms to hand out ads, skew recommendation systems, and scrape pricing data.’
      • ‘In checking my email this morning, i was really disturbed by a message on a mailing list that i lurk.’
      • ‘If you choose to grant yourself the anonymity of a moniker whilst lurking on guestbooks, at least pick something you can live up to.’
      • ‘Tonight she was debating between lurking about chat rooms on the internet or going to a movie.’
      • ‘If you're new to a list, it's a good idea to lurk (read without writing anything back) for a day or two, just to get a feel for the flavor of the list.’
      • ‘What I'm gonna do is collect a whole bunch of quotes from a few of the blogs I lurk around and read, and post 'em all here with scant regard to their original context!’
      • ‘The cowardly cyber-stalkers and other anonymous yellow-bellied hatemongers who lurk on the Internet, preying on decent folks, can jolly well lump it.’
      • ‘I spotted this today in one of the many scary pregnancy forums I've been lurking in recently, and it made every hair on my body stand on end.’
      • ‘I suspect that a lot more read the posts and lurk.’
      • ‘FR also has its share of characters, whom you will begin to notice if you lurk long enough.’
      • ‘In his spare time he can be found writing at Whitespace and lurking in the CSS Vault.’
      • ‘I lurk on SIG listservs and go to SIG websites to get a picture of the issues being brought forward and discussed.’
      • ‘We lurked on the email discussion list, posting pointed questions at opportune moments.’
      • ‘Many of these were lurking in the Teen chat, or even Schools and Education categories.’
      • ‘Can anyone recommend good forums for me to lurk around?’
      • ‘The world is full of very lonely people, and it's safe to assume that a lot of people lurking and talking in online chat rooms are among them.’
      • ‘I guess Michael Powell has been lurking on some of these community WiFi mailing lists.’
      • ‘They don't read blogs, lurk in chatrooms or give much weight to professional media critics.’

Origin

Middle English: perhaps from lour + the frequentative suffix -k (as in talk). The noun is from British slang lurk ‘method of fraud’.

Pronunciation

lurk

/lərk//lərk/