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laches

[lach-iz]
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noun (used with a singular verb) Law.
  1. failure to do something at the proper time, especially such delay as will bar a party from bringing a legal proceeding.

Origin of laches

1325–75; Middle English lachesse < Anglo-French, variant of Middle French laschesse, derivative of Old French lasche slack (< Gmc); see -ice
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for laches

Historical Examples

  • In the Charmides, as also in the Laches, he is described as middle-aged; in the Lysis he is advanced in years.

    Lysis

    Plato

  • I particularly observed how superior he was to Laches in presence of mind.

  • Laches thinks that he knows this: 'He is courageous who remains at his post.'

    Laches

    Plato

  • Laches is very willing, and is quite sure that he knows what courage is, if he could only tell.

    Laches

    Plato

  • Laches derides this; and Socrates enquires, 'What sort of intelligence?'

    Laches

    Plato


British Dictionary definitions for laches

laches

noun
  1. law negligence or unreasonable delay in pursuing a legal remedy

Word Origin

C14 lachesse, via Old French lasche slack, from Latin laxus lax
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for laches

n.

"negligence in performance of legal dute," 1570s, earlier simply "slackness, negligence, want of zeal," late 14c., from Anglo-French laches, Old French lachesse, from Old French lasche (Modern French lâche), verbal adj. from lascher, from Vulgar Latin *lascare, classical laxare, from laxus (see loose). Cf. riches.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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