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’
    • ‘Deer love to play by the sides of the roads, waiting and lurking for the unsuspecting car to travel by.’
    • ‘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 always lurk behind me, waiting with their jaws open, licking their lips.’
    • ‘They planned their attack for when we all came back from Vivienne's funeral, lurking in wait in our respective rooms.’
    • ‘A grove of crotons became a magical jungle where snakes and other exotic creatures lurked, waiting to pounce.’
    • ‘In the case of the Kalundu killing, the assailants must have been lurking in the vicinity waiting for their victim.’
    • ‘He could feel creatures all around him, lurking, waiting to sink their teeth and claws into his flesh.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘The killer could have been lurking in the shadows, watching them.’
    • ‘It was all too easy to imagine one saw the gleam of metal as Rim troops lurked in ambush.’
    • ‘Whatever it was out there amongst the ferns, he didn't know, but it was lurking, waiting.’
    • ‘Eyes lurked in the shadows waiting for the right moment to strike.’
    • ‘Surprises and plotters lurk along the road ahead waiting to ambush him.’
    • ‘And the truth was, the photographer might have been lurking about waiting for such a photograph.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As the name of the bay suggests, tiger sharks lurk nearby, waiting for opportune times to attack.’
    • ‘Trolling a large lure in mid-river was the undoing of the monster predator that was lurking in the deep section’
    • ‘I guess it's always been there, lurking, waiting for the occasion to show up.’
    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’
      • ‘Our personality develops under the shadows of a latent fear lurking behind us always.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Incredibly, that's only a third of it; the remainder lurks underneath the earth's surface.’
      • ‘It is frankly difficult not to smell like something, given the plethora of fragrances lurking in every product.’
      • ‘‘What an appetite you have,’ my sister said with acidity lurking beneath her fake sweetness.’
      • ‘And after so many years lurking mournfully in the shadows, who could deny Ford the chance to steal some of Daddy's limelight?’
      • ‘She stopped, sighing and expelling an amount of tension lurking in her body.’
      • ‘And, on the odd occasion, she did get a glimpse of a violent temper lurking beneath the calm surface of his apparent good nature.’
      • ‘Even in the glory days of Hollywood, there was always scandal lurking just beneath the surface.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Given the multitude of viruses lurking in animals, it will be impossible to breed germ free ‘donors.’’
      • ‘It might also liberate some telling numbers already lurking in file drawers upstairs.’
      • ‘While quality is my priority, quantity is always lurking close behind, lingering like an embarrassed little brother.’
      • ‘In a neighbourhood overrun by gang warfare, violence lurks constantly beneath the surface, frequently spilling over to the doorstep of the Macleans' cramped apartment.’
      • ‘I have to admit that when I first eyed the title of Walker's memoir a measurable amount of suspicion lurked in my heart.’
      • ‘A barely seen danger lurks just out of sight, becoming more bold with the approach of night fall.’
      • ‘Although depression, anxiety and shame may lurk beneath the surface, what's on the table is usually relationship problems.’
      • ‘To outsiders this might appear to be a perfect relationship, but danger can lurk beneath the calm surface.’
      • ‘Even if voters navigate those dangers, another shoal lurks beneath their bow.’
      • ‘It's nice to have that leeway, in case there are any bad days lurking.’
    2. 1.2informal Read the postings in an Internet forum without actively contributing.
      • ‘Tonight she was debating between lurking about chat rooms on the internet or going to a movie.’
      • ‘Can anyone recommend good forums for me to lurk around?’
      • ‘They don't read blogs, lurk in chatrooms or give much weight to professional media critics.’
      • ‘The cowardly cyber-stalkers and other anonymous yellow-bellied hatemongers who lurk on the Internet, preying on decent folks, can jolly well lump it.’
      • ‘In his spare time he can be found writing at Whitespace and lurking in the CSS Vault.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many of these were lurking in the Teen chat, or even Schools and Education categories.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We lurked on the email discussion list, posting pointed questions at opportune moments.’
      • ‘Here's the idea - lurk around on a few discussion boards and poach some of the good ideas you see there.’
      • ‘In checking my email this morning, i was really disturbed by a message on a mailing list that i lurk.’
      • ‘They grab tickets en masse for scalpers, lurk in chat rooms to hand out ads, skew recommendation systems, and scrape pricing data.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘If you choose to grant yourself the anonymity of a moniker whilst lurking on guestbooks, at least pick something you can live up to.’
      • ‘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 lurk on SIG listservs and go to SIG websites to get a picture of the issues being brought forward and discussed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I guess Michael Powell has been lurking on some of these community WiFi mailing lists.’
      • ‘He'd link and lurk, and occasionally carefully compose a question, and send the discussion into the group and get an answer.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

lurk

/lərk//lərk/