Definition of plaintiff in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈplān(t)if/


A person who brings a case against another in a court of law. Compare with defendant.
Example sentences
  • The defendants negligently told the plaintiffs that X was much wealthier than in fact he was.
  • The plaintiffs sued the defendant alleging that he had been negligent in a number of ways.
  • Several years later the plaintiff gave the defendant notice to quit under the lease agreement.


Late Middle English: from Old French plaintif 'plaintive' (used as a noun). The -f ending has come down through Law French; the word was originally the same as plaintive.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: plain·tiff

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