lag·​gard | \ ˈla-gərd How to pronounce laggard (audio) \

Definition of laggard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: lagging or tending to lag : dilatory



Definition of laggard (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that lags or lingers

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Other Words from laggard


laggardly adverb or adjective
laggardness noun

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The coronavirus pandemic hastened Olympus's laggard camera unit's decline. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Photo finish: Crashing sales force Olympus to sell iconic camera business," 24 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a stunning turnaround, the Dodge brand, long a quality laggard, surged to take the top spot, tying with Kia, while toppling traditional benchmarks including South Korea’s Genesis, Japan’s Lexus and Germany’s Porsche. NBC News, "Tesla ranks dead last in latest auto quality survey," 12 May 2020 Early in the coronavirus crisis, the US was a testing laggard. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Sorry, Mr. President, America’s testing capacity isn’t “unrivaled”," 15 May 2020 That means selling some of the best-performing assets, buying some of the laggards, or both. WSJ, "Bond Funds Are Hotter Than Tesla," 7 Feb. 2020 As a result of these twin pressures, the fossil-fuel industry has been the laggard in the last decade of economic expansion, underperforming every other sector of our economy. Bill Mckibben, The New York Review of Books, "Thanks to Climate Divestment, Big Oil Finally Runs Out of Gas," 12 May 2020 Utilities, a safe-play sector, were the only laggard. Washington Post, "S&P notches weekly gain as jobs growth blows past forecasts," 6 Dec. 2019 Now, there’s yet another factor complicating the efforts to pressure Exxon and other companies flagged as climate laggards: the coronavirus pandemic. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "The Church of England is going up against ExxonMobil on climate change. Can it win?," 24 Apr. 2020 One wise investment strategy that doesn't involve trying to identify stock-market bottoms is to rebalance your portfolio periodically by taking some profits from assets that have fared well and reinvesting the proceeds into laggards. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "When will the stock market start recovering? Turning point might may not depend on recession," 22 Mar. 2020 Two laggards Bloomberg, the world’s 9th wealthiest individual with a fortune of roughly $60 billion, had bombarded Texas and other states with ads. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Bloomberg quits, backs Joe Biden after former VP wins Texas in Super Tuesday breakout," 4 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'laggard.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of laggard


1702, in the meaning defined above


1705, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for laggard

Time Traveler

The first known use of laggard was in 1702

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Statistics for laggard

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Laggard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for laggard



Financial Definition of laggard

What It Is

Laggard describes a stock that fails to perform as well as the overall market or a group of peers.

How It Works

In a broad sense, the term laggard connotes resistance to progress and a persistent pattern of falling behind. In a financial sense, a laggard may be a stock or other market-traded security that has historically underperformed on a consistent basis. For example, if biotechnology stock ABC consistently posts annual returns of only 2% when other stocks in the industry post average returns of 5%, stock ABC would be considered a laggard.

Why It Matters

If you hold them in your portfolio, laggards are generally the first candidates for selling. In the example above, holding a stock that returns 2% instead of one that returns 5% costs you 3% each year. Unless there is some solid reason to believe that a catalyst will lift shares of a stock that has historically lagged its competition, continuing to hold the laggard costs you money.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of laggard

somewhat old-fashioned : a person or thing that does not go or move as quickly as others


lag·​gard | \ ˈla-gərd How to pronounce laggard (audio) \

Kids Definition of laggard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: slow to act, move, or respond He was laggard about repaying the debt.



Kids Definition of laggard (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who does not go or move as quickly as others

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More from Merriam-Webster on laggard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for laggard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with laggard

Spanish Central: Translation of laggard

Nglish: Translation of laggard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laggard for Arabic Speakers

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