Definition of laches in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlatʃɪz/
Pronunciation: /ˈleɪz/


[mass noun] Law
Unreasonable delay in asserting a claim, which may result in its dismissal.
Example sentences
  • Thus this Court must uphold the Probate Court's decision to find laches inapplicable to this action.
  • This traditional function suggests that laches should be limited to cases in which no statute of limitations applies.
  • Those who thought that all concepts of laches and similar issue preclusions from the passage of time have been thoroughly excised from the law of paternity and child support now stand corrected.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'slackness, negligence'): from Old French laschesse, from lasche 'loose, lax', based on Latin laxus. The current sense dates from the late 16th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: la¦ches

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