Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chiefly British A crossbred dog used by poachers.
  • n. Archaic A sneak thief.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of crossbreed dog ― a cross between a sighthound and any other breed or the offspring of such crosses.
  • n. A glutton; a gormandizer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One that lurches or lies in wait; one who watches to pilfer, or to betray or entrap; one who lurks; a lurker; a poacher.
  • n. One of a mongrel breed of dogs said to have been a cross between the sheep dog, greyhound, and spaniel. It hunts game silently, by scent, and is often used by poachers.
  • n. A glutton; a gormandizer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who lies in wait or lurks; one who watches, as to entrap or steal; a poacher.
  • n. A sort of hunting-dog, said to be a cross between the shepherd's dog and the greyhound, much used by poachers, because it hunts both by sight and by scent.
  • n. A glutton; a gormandizer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone waiting in concealment

Etymologies

Middle English, from lorchen, to lurk, perhaps from lurken; see lurk.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin lurco, lurcho, a glutton. See lurch. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Merry Christmas all. on December 22, 2009 at 5: 56 pm joker the lurcher dear inspector, could you make sure the limited edition t-shirts come in lurcher size as well as human?

    It Is Christmas in Ruralshire. Say It And Be Proud. « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • He was a great man for solitary walks, too — he and an old dog he had, called Crib, a cross-bred mongrel-looking brute, most like what they call a lurcher in England, father said.

    Robbery Under Arms

  • He was a great man for solitary walks, too -- he and an old dog he had, called Crib, a cross-bred mongrel-looking brute, most like what they call a lurcher in England, father said.

    Robbery under Arms; a story of life and adventure in the bush and in the Australian goldfields

  • Next evening then, in the gloamin ', he turned up at our lodgings, wi' two dogs at his heel, a greyhound and a lurcher -- a lurcher is a coursing dog, a cross between a collie and a greyhound.

    Between You and Me

  • The lurcher is a dog seldom found in the possession of the honourable sportsman.

    The Dog

  • The lurcher, which is seven years old, is white with grey markings and blue eyes.

    News round-up

  • -- _Holt's Memoirs_, vol.ii. p. 137.] [Footnote 167: "A lurcher is the lowest order of thieves."

    The History of Tasmania, Volume I

  • Don't you see, you brute, that my dog is a lurcher? "and so, repeating the word" lurcher "again and again, he sent the madman away beaten to a jelly.

    Don Quixote

  • "lurcher" again and again, he sent the madman away beaten to a jelly.

    Don Quixote

  • I wrote about my encounter in a column I was then writing for the Times of London, describing the leggy, energetic Gibbs as a blonde lurcher in a parka and extolling the virtues of her methodology.

    Creating Your Own Clearance Rack

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Comments

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  • A crossbred sighthound dog developed by the gypsies and traveling people of Britain and Ireland used for poaching rabbits and other small game. The lurcher is not a pure breed, because many different crosses are possible, generally between a sighthound and some breed of pastoral dog or terrier.

    September 28, 2009

  • In the Bewick book, the illustration this word describes looks like a wolfhound.

    August 26, 2008