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lag·​gard ˈla-gərd How to pronounce laggard (audio)
: lagging or tending to lag : slow especially compared to others of the same kind
a laggard pace
… we arrived in Northville, to find … the celebrated ducks playing host to a laggard flock of dark-brown Canada geese.The New Yorker
With sugar prices weak, the stock has been laggard.Richard B. Hoey
laggardly adverb or adjective
laggardness noun


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plural laggards
: someone or something that lags or lingers : someone or something that is slow especially compared to others of the same kind
A few laggards slowed down the pace of the hike.
The company has been accused of being a laggard in adopting new technology.
They [brown bears] usually catch salmon by chasing them through shallow water and pouncing on the laggards.National Wildlife

Examples of laggard in a Sentence

Adjective I hate being stuck behind laggard motorists on the freeway. Noun The company has been a laggard in developing new products. tried to spur on the laggards at the back of the line during the hike
Recent Examples on the Web
Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush, came under fire in 1992 for his laggard response to Andrew in Florida, a Category 5 hurricane with winds that reached 165 mph, shortly before his reelection contest against Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Julian Zelizer, CNN, 30 Sep. 2022 Its laggard incubation period gives us a full 21 days to intervene between exposure and disease. Abdul El-Sayed, The New Republic, 29 Sep. 2022 These are all new cores from ARM, and the big and little cores are 64-bit only, with only the medium cores able to run any laggard 32-bit applications. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 21 Mar. 2022 However, the American pandemic response has also been faulted for an at times laggard pace at tracking and analyzing the spread of the virus compared to its counterparts abroad. Alexander Tin, CBS News, 14 Mar. 2022 The sector is currently booming, and massive funding announcements are a common occurrence, a testament to the fact that the laggard construction industry has finally woken up to the need to innovate. Angelica Krystle Donati, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 Their laggard approach toward data can be attributed to a host of factors. Deepak Mittal, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 This is not that surprising, when the great value add that product and process innovation can bring to the enormous and laggard construction sector is considered. Angelica Krystle Donati, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 The Kremlin has attributed the mounting contagion and deaths to a laggard vaccination rate., 13 Oct. 2021
This year’s laggards—small caps, bank stocks and cyclicals—have also jumped recently. Hardika Singh, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2023 As Pinto explains, these were laggards in boom period, leaving them more affordable than the places that had the big surge. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 19 Nov. 2023 Thankfully, the authors give the Marine Corps recognition for being laggards to the drag-queen and rainbow-bullet parade. WSJ, 3 Nov. 2023 Offensive coordinator Dan Enos paid the price for the string of laggard offensive showings as he was fired by Coach Sam Pittman on Sunday. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, 23 Oct. 2023 Even if the pressure on the long end starts to ease, another major test lies ahead as the Bank of Japan — the laggard among central banks globally — edges toward normalizing policy. Alice Gledhill, Fortune, 30 Sep. 2023 The year’s strong stock market gains started off with star performances from many of 2022’s money losing laggards. WSJ, 10 Aug. 2023 The group has little exposure to technology, the best-performing corner of the market this year, and heavier weightings in finance and energy, some of the worst laggards. Carmen Reinicke, Fortune, 10 Sep. 2023 Goldman Sachs, one of Wall Street’s most ardent return-to-office champions, is cracking down on laggards. Sridhar Natarajan, Fortune, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'laggard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1702, in the meaning defined above


1705, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of laggard was in 1702

Dictionary Entries Near laggard

Cite this Entry

“Laggard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: lagging or tending to lag : slow
laggard noun
laggardly adverb or adjective

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