Definition of laches
: negligence in the observance of duty or opportunity; specifically : undue delay in asserting a legal right or privilege
Recent Examples of laches from the Web
Ceglia’s attempt to get half of Facebook — a company now estimated to be worth somewhere between $55 and $85 billion — also faces the difficult problem of the doctrine of laches.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'laches'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Legal Definition of laches
1 : undue delay in asserting a right or privilege — compare statute of limitations
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 and Etymology 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
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article 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).