lame duck(redirected from lame ducks)
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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.
2. An ineffective person; a weakling.
[Originally 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 where share trading was carried out in coffeehouses; compare similar zoomorphic 18th-century stock market terms, such as bear and bull).]
1. a person or thing that is disabled or ineffectual
2. (Stock Exchange) stock exchange a speculator who cannot discharge his or her liabilities
3. (Commerce) a company with a large workforce and high prestige that is unable to meet foreign competition without government support
4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy)
a. an elected official or body of officials remaining in office in the interval between the election and inauguration of a successor
b. (as modifier): a lame-duck president.
5. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (modifier) US designating a term of office after which the officeholder will not run for re-election
1. an elected official or group continuing in office in the period between an election defeat and a successor's assumption of office.
2. a president who is completing a term of office and chooses not to run or is ineligible to run for reelection.
3. anyone or anything soon to be supplanted by another.
4. a person or thing that is disabled, ineffective, or inefficient.
An elected representative or administration that has failed to win re-election but continues in power until the inauguration of the winner of the last election.