The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Lame \Lame\ (l[=a]m), a. [Compar. Lamer (l[=a]m"[~e]r);
superl. Lamest.] [OE. lame, AS. lama; akin to D. lam, G.
lahm, OHG., Dan., & Sw. lam, Icel. lami, Russ. lomate to
break, lomota rheumatism.]
(a) Moving with pain or difficulty on account of injury,
defect, or temporary obstruction of a function; as, a
lame leg, arm, or muscle.
(b) To some degree disabled by reason of the imperfect
action of a limb; crippled; as, a lame man. "Lame of
one leg." --Arbuthnot. "Lame in both his feet." --2
Sam. ix. 13. "He fell, and became lame." --2 Sam. iv.
2. Hence, hobbling; limping; inefficient; imperfect; as, a
lame answer. "A lame endeavor." --Barrow.
O, most lame and impotent conclusion! --Shak.
(a) (Stock Exchange), a person who can not fulfill his
(b) An elected politician who is completing a term after
having been defeated at an election; also, an office
holder who cannot or chooses not to run again for the
same office; -- So called from the presumed lack of
political power of one who is soon to be out of
(b) Any office holder who is serving out a term after a
replacement has been selected.
[1913 Webster +PJC]