Left in the lurch


      • to abandon or leave someone in a difficult situation
        to describe a situation where someone has been deserted or left in a difficult or challenging position without any help or support

    Examples of Left in the lurch

    • The sales team was left in the lurch when the CEO suddenly announced his retirement without a successor in place.

      This idiom is used to describe a situation where someone is left unprepared to handle a situation due to the unexpected departure or withdrawal of another person. In this case, the sales team was left without a leader, which could have negative effects on their performance and morale.

    • Jane promised to help me with the project, but when the deadline came around, she left me in the lurch and didn't show up.

      This example highlights the personal aspect of the idiom. It can be used to describe a situation where someone lets down another person by failing to fulfill a promise or commitment. In this case, Jane promised to help the speaker with a project but didn't follow through, leaving the speaker in a difficult position.

    • The small business owner was left in the lurch when her main supplier suddenly discontinued a crucial product.

      This example demonstrates the impact of the idiom in a business context. It describes a situation where a company is caught off guard by the actions of another company, leaving them without a crucial product or service that they depend on.

    • The politician's constituents felt left in the lurch when he failed to provide clear answers to their questions during a crucial debate.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used to describe situations where a person or group is relying on someone else for guidance or support, but that person fails to deliver. In this case, the politician's constituents were looking for clear and definitive answers, but he left them unsatisfied and uncertain.

    • Angie promised to help me move next weekend, but now she's left me in the lurch because she's going out of town on business.

      The expression "left in the lurch" is used when someone unexpectedly backs out of a commitment or fails to provide necessary support or assistance, leaving another person in a difficult or compromising position. In this example, Angie initially agreed to help the speaker move, but then she canceled because of a work trip, leaving the speaker to handle the move on their own.

    • The football team's star quarterback got injured during the game, and his backup was also hurt, leaving the coach with no other choice but to put the third-string quarterback in the game, who had never played in a real game before.

      In this example, the team's first two quarterbacks became unable to play due to injury, leaving the coach with no other option but to bring in a player who had not yet proven themselves in a real game. This situation is an example of being "left in the lurch" because the coach was suddenly forced to rely on an inexperienced player, which could have negative consequences for the team's performance.

    • The company's CEO announced a major restructuring that would result in layoffs for many employees, leaving the workforce feeling uncertain and uneasy about their job security.

      This example illustrates how an unexpected decision or change can leave a group of people feeling abandoned or disadvantaged. In this case, the employees are "left in the lurch" because they are now uncertain about their job futures and the potential impact of the restructuring on their careers.

    • As the hurricane approached, residents along the coast were urged to evacuate, but many were hesitant to leave because they didn't have anyone to take care of their pets. As a result, they were "left in the lurch" and had to ride out the storm with their animals.

      Here, the phrase "left in the lurch" is used to describe a situation in which individuals are placed in a difficult position due to unforeseen circumstances. In this case, the pet owners were unable to find accommodations for their animals, leaving them with no choice but to stay in harm's way.


    The idiom "left in the lurch" is used to convey the idea of being abandoned or deserted in a difficult situation. It is often used to describe a scenario where someone is left without any help or support, feeling stranded or helpless. The intention behind using this idiom is to emphasize the feeling of being left in a difficult or challenging position without any assistance.

    This idiom is commonly used in both informal and formal contexts to express the idea of being abandoned or left without aid. It can be used in various situations, such as personal relationships, business dealings, or any other scenario where someone feels deserted or unsupported.

    Overall, "left in the lurch" is a powerful idiom that vividly portrays the feeling of abandonment and helplessness in a difficult situation.

    Origin of "Left in the lurch"

    The origin of the idiom "left in the lurch" can be traced back to the 16th century. The word "lurch" originally referred to a sudden thrust or forward motion, often used in the game of cribbage. Over time, the term came to be associated with a sudden or unexpected movement, which eventually evolved to convey the idea of being abandoned or left in a difficult position.

    The idiom gained popularity in the 17th century and has since been used to describe situations where someone is deserted or left without help. The imagery of being left in a sudden and unexpected position without any support is effectively captured in the phrase "left in the lurch," making it a widely used and understood idiom in the English language. Its historical roots in gaming and sudden movements have contributed to its usage in conveying the feeling of abandonment and helplessness.