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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And until the government sets a baseline for climate action, there will be plenty of laggards, Stokes said. oregonlive, "Cities, states and companies vow to meet US climate goals without Trump. Can they?," 4 Nov. 2019 Health care stocks were among the biggest laggards. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Markets Right Now: Stocks turn higher, led by tech shares," 23 Sep. 2019 To get down to one laggard, well, that’s huge progress in the club’s 17th year of tracking high-powered women., "The company is the lone “zero-zero” on the Boston Club’s annual census of women at senior levels of the 100 biggest public firms in Massachusetts.," 7 Nov. 2019 By GDP 91% of the inflation-targeting world is an inflation laggard on this measure. The Economist, "The world economyInflation is losing its meaning as an economic indicator," 10 Oct. 2019 Financial stocks were laggards Wednesday as bond yields continued to slide. CBS News, "Dow slides more than 500 points as economic concerns flare," 2 Oct. 2019 Communication services stocks were the biggest laggards, weighed down by Facebook, which lost 1.9% after New York’s attorney general announced an antitrust investigation into the company. Washington Post, "US stocks edge higher following mixed jobs report," 6 Sep. 2019 Metro Denver is a relative laggard at 1.4 percent, followed by Fort Collins at 1 percent and Pueblo at 0.6 percent. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Colorado economic growth slightly below forecast," 17 Aug. 2019 But Levi’s top executive says that really comes down to one main laggard: Sears. Jordyn Holman, Fortune, "Levi’s First Sell Rating Prompts CEO to Detail Plan for Dressing Up Its List of Retailers," 30 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of laggard


1702, in the meaning defined above


1705, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about laggard

Time Traveler for laggard

Time Traveler

The first known use of laggard was in 1702

See more words from the same year

Statistics for laggard

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Laggard.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on laggard

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


contradictory or incongruous words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!