Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

plaintiff

[pleyn-tif]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun Law.
  1. a person who brings suit in a court (opposed to defendant).

Origin of plaintiff

1350–1400; Middle English plaintif complaining person, noun use of the adj.: plaintive
Related formsplain·tiff·ship, noun
Can be confusedplaintiff plaintive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for plaintiff

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for plaintiff

plaintiff

noun
  1. (formerly) a person who brings a civil action in a court of lawNow replaced by: claimant Compare defendant (def. 1)

Word Origin

C14: from legal French plaintif, from Old French plaintif (adj) complaining, from plainte plaint
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 plaintiff

n.

c.1400, from Anglo-French pleintif (late 13c.), noun use of Old French plaintif "complaining; wretched, miserable," from plainte (see plaint). Identical with plaintive at first; the form that receded into legal usage retained the older -iff spelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

plaintiff in Culture

plaintiff

The party that institutes a suit in a court. The person or entity the plaintiff sues is the defendant.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.