noun (used with a singular verb) Law.

failure to do something at the proper time, especially such delay as will bar a party from bringing a legal proceeding.

Nearby words

  1. lacewood,
  2. lacework,
  3. lacey,
  4. lachaise,
  5. lachaise, gaston,
  6. lachesis,
  7. lachine,
  8. lachish,
  9. lachlan,
  10. lachryma christi

Origin of laches

1325–75; Middle English lachesse < Anglo-French, variant of Middle French laschesse, derivative of Old French lasche slack (< Gmc); see -ice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for laches

British Dictionary definitions for laches



law negligence or unreasonable delay in pursuing a legal remedy

Word Origin for laches

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



"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