Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “lame duck”

See all translations

lame duck

noun [C]
 
 
an unsuccessful person, thing, or organization: A lot of time and effort goes into supporting employees who are essentially lame ducks. This is regarded by many as a lame-duck initiative that has failed to deliver its promises.
POLITICS an elected official whose power is reduced because the person who will replace them has already been elected: The two years he has before he's perceived as a lame duck will be the most powerful period of his presidency.
a person in a position of authority in a company or organization whose power is reduced because their time in the job is about to end: It's frustrating that the present MD is a lame duck and can't really change anything very much.
Translations of “lame duck”
in Chinese (Traditional) 不成功的, 不太成功的人(或事物)…
in Chinese (Simplified) 不成功的, 不太成功的人(或事物)…
(Definition of lame duck from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of lame duck?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “lame duck” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

advent calendar

a decorative piece of card, often hung on the wall, that has a small opening with a door for each of the days of the month before Christmas. Children open one of these doors each day, finding a picture under it.

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More