- a disabled, ineffectual, or helpless person or thing
- an elected official whose term extends beyond the time of the election at which he or she was not reelected
- an elected official near the end of his or her term who is not seeking reelection and is therefore regarded as having little remaining influence
lame ducklame duck
- a. An elected officeholder or group continuing in office during the period between failure to win an election and the inauguration of a successor.b. An officeholder who has chosen not to run for reelection or is ineligible for reelection.
- An ineffective person; a weakling.
Origin of lame duckOriginally 18th-century British stock exchange slang defaulter, one who has defaulted on debts ( perhaps because such defaulters were likened to injured ducks waddling away from Change Alley, the narrow London side street in which were located the coffeehouses where share trading was carried out; compare similar zoomorphic 18th-century stock market terms, such as bear ) ( and bull )
(plural lame ducks)
- (colloquial) A person or thing that is helpless, inefficient or disabled.
- (US, politics) An elected official who has lost the recent election or is not eligible for reelection and is marking time until leaving office.
- Congressman Jones was a lame duck and did not vote on many issues that were important to his constituents.
- (finance, slang, dated) A person who can not fulfil his contracts.
18th century - A person who had defaulted in the London Stock Exchange was said to waddle out of Exchange Alley like a lame duck.
- See lame duck.
lame duck - Legal Definition
Colloquial; often pejorative