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

Definition of laggard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


plural laggards

Definition of laggard (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

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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 Kremlin has attributed the mounting contagion and deaths to a laggard vaccination rate., 13 Oct. 2021 The interior styling of laggard properties can be off-putting or set the imagination on fire. New York Times, 2 July 2021 But stocks did recover somewhat yesterday, and the laggard Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) was able to regain the 34,000 mark when all was said and done. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 17 June 2021 Europe remains the laggard, with tourism flows from abroad still suppressed by a vaccine campaign that is behind that of the U.S. Colleen Barry, Star Tribune, 17 May 2021 Anticipation of a global economic rebound has the potential to re-energize laggard small-cap and value stocks in foreign markets, largely left out of last year’s stock-market rally that was fueled mostly by large growth stocks and momentum trading. Ari I. Weinberg, WSJ, 4 Mar. 2021 Moreover, high ambition from a group of major economies can help catalyze additional action from laggard nations. Rachel Cleetus, Scientific American, 14 Apr. 2021 There are laggard sectors, the ones left out of the work-from-home rally of 2020, that are generating decent returns. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 23 Feb. 2021 Both performances are appealing, but Mr. Ashe’s screenplay is not well served by the laggard pace and low energy of his direction. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Since then, the United States has become a global vaccine laggard, the percentage of its population inoculated lower than dozens of other nations. Celina Tebor, USA TODAY, 11 Oct. 2021 But so far, Australia remains a climate laggard compared to other wealthy countries. Amy Gunia, Time, 7 Oct. 2021 The issue for wary Europeans isn’t just the United States’ persistently high national coronavirus case numbers, or the lingering pockets of anti-vaccination sentiment that have seen an immunization front-runner become a laggard. Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2021 While the life and annuities (L&A) sector has been a digital laggard, not a digital leader, that is starting to change — proving that organizations in all industries still have an opportunity to digitize and transform. Benjamin Laker, Forbes, 6 July 2021 Transports were the leader and is now the laggard since the week of May 14. Richard Henry Suttmeier, Forbes, 13 June 2021 Unsurprisingly, the legal function has been a digital laggard. Mark A. Cohen, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Japan could use a lot more young women like her. Despite its tech-savvy image and economic heft, the country is a digital laggard, with a traditional paperbound office culture where fax machines and personal seals known as hanko remain common. New York Times, 1 Sep. 2021 To this point, gold has been the laggard in asset class performance (still down year-to-date). Bryan Rich, Forbes, 18 May 2021

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

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The first known use of laggard was in 1702

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Laggard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for laggard



English Language Learners Definition of laggard

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on laggard

Nglish: Translation of laggard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laggard for Arabic Speakers


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