leave in the lurch

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Leave someone abruptly and without assistance or support when they are in a difficult situation. Lurch as a noun meaning ‘a state of discomfiture’, recorded from the mid 16th century, has long been obsolete except in this idiom. The word comes originally from French lourche, the name of a game resembling backgammon, used in the phrase demeurer lourche ‘be discomfited’.

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