I'm looking for a name for my website which has the purpose of attracting people. I stumble across the word 'lure'. But I was wondering if the verb 'lure' has a negative connotation. Can any native speaker tell me this? And can you say 'lure at you'?

Many thanks!

  • This question is fine here, but seeing that you're new to the Stack Exchange, and you've mentioned "native speaker," I thought you might appreciate a pointer to our site for English Language Learners.
    – J.R.
    Apr 25, 2015 at 2:49
  • 3
    Depends on whether you're a fisherman or a fish.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 25, 2015 at 4:07
  • It has a slightly negative connotation in that you're trying to attract someone's attention by subterfuge. Also, you lure someone, (you don't lure at someone).
    – Mitch
    Apr 28, 2015 at 12:56

4 Answers 4


It absolutely does have a negative connotation—one of bait and switch.

Phrases like "After luring her into his house, ..." and "The victims were lured into following..." are common in the news.

If you want to attract people using real content, then this is a very bad name for the project. On the other hand, if cheap tricks and memes are your means to clicking on banners and ads, then it's perfect.

  • I agree – a better word would probably be attract.
    – J.R.
    Apr 25, 2015 at 2:51
  • I would quibble that the use of the word "absolutely" shouldn't be taken to indicate the strength or degree of negativity. Lure can have a sense that is anywhere from neutral to extremely negative. Apr 25, 2015 at 16:45

Lure - defined as to tempt - I s often associated with negative connotations. Fishing lures are fake baits. Offenders are often referenced as having lured their prey to a dark or secluded location for example.

Depending on the nature of the website, allure could be a good alternative: the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating.


In my opinion there is an inference of deception in 'lure', although perhaps not always. In fishing for example, a lure is a mock-fish with embedded hook so that you do not need genuine bait


If it is akin to "lock" (viz Ger "locken", to bait, lure), which makes sense insofar k after long vowels lenited, which could become anything from /h/ to /x/ or even r, then yeah, it's hella negative and semantically equivalent to "trap"; cp "in die Falle locken" (to lure into the trap; possibly to lock into the trap); Further cp Loch "hole", einlochen "imprisson".

These may not be directly related, I didn't check (k>r would be rare as far as I know), but the connotation is there, and .. convergence trumps root genetics.

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