Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

laches

play
noun la·ches \ˈla-chəz, ˈlā-\

Definition of laches

plural laches

  1. :  negligence in the observance of duty or opportunity; specifically :  undue delay in asserting a legal right or privilege



Origin of laches

Middle English lachesse, from Anglo-French laschesce, from lasche lax, ultimately from Latin laxare to loosen — more at lease


First Known Use: 14th century


Law Dictionary

laches

play
noun la·ches \ˈla-chəz, ˈlā-, -shəz\

Legal Definition of laches

plural laches

  1. 1 :  undue delay in asserting a right or privilege — compare statute of limitations

  2. 2a :  a doctrine permitting dismissal of a suit because a plaintiff's unreasonable delay in asserting a right or privilege has been detrimental to the defendant's ability to make a defense (as by resulting in the unavailability of witnesses or evidence) <a suit barred by laches> b :  an affirmative defense based on this doctrine



Origin of laches

Anglo-French lachesce laschesce negligence, from Old French lasche lax, ultimately from Latin laxare to loosen, from laxus slack


Learn More about laches


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up laches? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to eat gluttonously or ravenously

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily prompt angry maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ