Lame duck
Lame Lame (l[=a]m), a. [Compar. {Lamer} (l[=a]m"[~e]r); superl. {Lamest}.] [OE. lame, AS. lama; akin to D. lam, G. lahm, OHG., Dan., & Sw. lam, Icel. lami, Russ. lomate to break, lomota rheumatism.] 1. (a) Moving with pain or difficulty on account of injury, defect, or temporary obstruction of a function; as, a lame leg, arm, or muscle. (b) To some degree disabled by reason of the imperfect action of a limb; crippled; as, a lame man. ``Lame of one leg.'' --Arbuthnot. ``Lame in both his feet.'' --2 Sam. ix. 13. ``He fell, and became lame.'' --2 Sam. iv. 4. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, hobbling; limping; inefficient; imperfect; as, a lame answer. ``A lame endeavor.'' --Barrow. [1913 Webster]

O, most lame and impotent conclusion! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Lame duck} (a) (Stock Exchange), a person who can not fulfill his contracts. [Cant] (b) An elected politician who is completing a term after having been defeated at an election; also, an office holder who cannot or chooses not to run again for the same office; -- So called from the presumed lack of political power of one who is soon to be out of office. (b) Any office holder who is serving out a term after a replacement has been selected. [1913 Webster +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lame duck — ˌlame ˈduck noun [countable] informal 1. a politician or a government that no longer has any real power or authority: • A bad defeat for his party in October risks making him a lame duck for the remaining two years of his presidency. 2. COMMERCE… …   Financial and business terms

  • lame duck — {n.}, {informal} An elected public official who has been either defeated in a new election or whose term cannot be renewed, but who has a short period of time left in office during which he can still perform certain duties, though with somewhat… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • lame duck — {n.}, {informal} An elected public official who has been either defeated in a new election or whose term cannot be renewed, but who has a short period of time left in office during which he can still perform certain duties, though with somewhat… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Lame duck — can refer to:* Lame duck (politics), an elected official who has lost political power * Lame duck (game design), a player in a game who cannot win, yet remains in the game. * Lame duck (tango), a position in tango * Lame Ducks (TV series), a… …   Wikipedia

  • lame duck — lame ducks 1) N COUNT: oft N n (disapproval) If you describe someone or something as a lame duck, you are critical of them because they are not successful and need to be helped a lot. Look, I m not one of your lame ducks... It is not proper to… …   English dictionary

  • Lame duck — Duck Duck, n. [OE. duke, doke. See {Duck}, v. t. ] 1. (Zool.) Any bird of the subfamily {Anatin[ae]}, family {Anatid[ae]}. [1913 Webster] Note: The genera and species are numerous. They are divided into {river ducks} and {sea ducks}. Among the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lame duck — n. A public official still in office after the election but before the inauguration of his or her successor. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. lame duck …   Law dictionary

  • lame´-duck´ — lame duck, 1. U.S. a public official, especially a Congressman, who has been defeated for reelection and is serving the last part of his term: »Like a lame duck President, a Prime Minister who is known to be on the way out cannot command… …   Useful english dictionary

  • lame-duck — adjective only before noun a lame duck leader or LEGISLATOR is one that is not powerful: a lame duck president …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • lame duck — 1761, any disabled person or thing; especially Stock Exchange slang for defaulter. A lame duck is a man who cannot pay his differences, and is said to waddle off. [Thomas Love Peacock, Gryll Grange, 1861] Sometimes also in naval use for an old,… …   Etymology dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”