Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To wait out of view.
  • intransitive verb To move furtively; sneak.
  • intransitive verb To exist unobserved or unsuspected.
  • intransitive verb To read but not contribute to the discussion in a newsgroup, chatroom, or other online forum.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of lurking or prowling.
  • noun A trick of imposture; a swindling artifice; a cunning dodge.
  • To lie in concealment; hide or keep out of sight, as for ambush or escape; skulk.
  • To be latent or undisclosed; be withdrawn from open manifestation; exist unperceived or unsuspected.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To lie hidden; to lie in wait.
  • intransitive verb To keep out of sight.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To remain concealed in order to ambush
  • verb To remain unobserved
  • verb to hang out or wait around a location, preferably without drawing attention to oneself
  • verb Internet to view an internet forum without posting comments
  • noun The act of lurking.

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

  • verb wait in hiding to attack
  • verb be about
  • verb lie in wait, lie in ambush, behave in a sneaky and secretive manner

Etymologies

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

[Middle English lurken, possibly of Scandinavian origin.]

Examples

  • Oh, what horrible perils lie in lurk in the languid fields of Erin Township!

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • I have been reading past LJ posts (in lurk-mode because really, who wants comments on entries that are months old?) in a vain attempt to catch up on everything, but I've also been reading my friends list -- and tnh, at making light, has posted a comment about misinformation and the publishing industry.

    Bestsellers?

  • One of the current topics on the Child-Lit listserv, where I usually lurk, is a discussion "Harry Potter -- Hype or Word Of Mouth," which got me thinking about when I first read HP and its impact on me, personally and professionally.

    How I Found Out About Harry

  • One of the current topics on the Child-Lit listserv, where I usually lurk, is a discussion "Harry Potter -- Hype or Word Of Mouth," which got me thinking about when I first read HP and its impact on me, personally and professionally.

    Archive 2005-12-01

  • There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurk'd.

    Excerpts from _Childe Harold's Pilgrimage_

  • Euan gives voice to another reason why people "lurk" - or maybe why they never jump into the community in the first place.

    Knowledge Jolt with Jack

  • Oh, and for those who wanted my full Angel gripes, here they are: hidden behind this seemingly impenetrable cut-tag lurk radioactive spoilers

    Random Friday

  • The so-called 1:9:90 principle in Internet culture says that significantly more users "lurk" in a virtual community than actively participate.

    David All: Harnessing Brand Activism

  • The so-called 1:9:90 principle in Internet culture says that significantly more users "lurk" in a virtual community than actively participate.

    David All: Harnessing Brand Activism

  • I'm not sure if I've ever commented before, but I "lurk" often, and I have a question:

    Celebrating 300 by Opening the Floor

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Has anyone else noticed that there are some people on Wordie who just, you know, list words? Instead of plastering the site with inane comments.

    Three of the wordiest Wordies at the moment seem to have said nary a peep (or just one peep among them, really): myriasofo, mouserie and Sassmews.

    Weird. Neat words though.

    June 29, 2008

  • We usually start stalking them after their second/third comment.

    June 29, 2008

  • That's very unwordie and I think we should consider that it might be an act of treason. Lurkers!

    June 29, 2008

  • I spent two years on this site, and listed several hundred words, before I ever paid any attention to the comments. Did this behavior make me an unwordie user? I don't think so. I wasn't looking to chat, back then -- I just needed a place to keep my words.

    But I do wish I'd paid attention to the comments right from the start. I missed so many lovely conversations!

    (Oh well. There's always Wordieternity.)

    June 30, 2008

  • Ptero's right. It's hard for noobs to follow the comments and it does take a while to graft the Wordie ethic to your persona.

    June 30, 2008

  • Ptero, I don't think Wordie has reached its second birthday yet. Has it, John?

    Anyway, I've always believed that one of the best aspects of Wordie is that you can make what you want of it. If you'd rather just list words, that's okay (unless, of course, we snag your list and give it the Wordie treatment). If you'd rather blather with some of us, that's nice too. :-)

    June 30, 2008

  • I agree with reesetee. Wordie is what you make of it, whatever that may happen to be.

    But I do believe that Wordie is at least two years old. I remember using it when I was still working on my B.A., and I graduated from that college in May 2006.

    (My memory is notoriously unreliable, though. I could easily be confused about this.)

    July 1, 2008

  • November 23-24, 2006.

    July 1, 2008

  • Thanks, Pro. I did remember that it was sometime around Thanksgiving when it launched, and I remember we celebrated Wordie's first birthday....

    Ptero, once you're out of college, your memory evaporates. It's a fact. ;-)

    July 1, 2008

  • Well, it's a pleasure to be proven wrong in this case -- it shows that I have difficulty imagining life without Wordie. :-)

    Anyone else remember when Wordie looked like this?

    July 1, 2008