a person or thing that lags; lingerer; loiterer.


moving, developing, or responding slowly; sluggish; dilatory; backward.

Origin of laggard

First recorded in 1695–1705; lag1 + -ard
Related formslag·gard·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for laggard

slowpoke, loafer, idler, dawdler, lounger

Examples from the Web for laggard

Contemporary Examples of laggard

  • The U.K. originally hung back from embracing such policies, and as a result was a laggard in developing a solar industry.

    The Daily Beast logo
    It’s Always Sunny In England

    The Daily Beast

    September 17, 2014

Historical Examples of laggard

  • At length the laggard hands of the clock were close together on the figure 6.


    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Not yet, Sire; he is no laggard if he reach it in three hours hence.

  • But if Reuben were laggard the innocent guardian dragon was early astir.

    Aunt Rachel

    David Christie Murray

  • Sir, the gentleman from Georgia has learned much since 1861; but he is still a laggard.

  • All this I heard, and more than ever chafed at the slackness of our laggard steeds.

    Sir Ludar

    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for laggard



a person who lags behind
a dawdler or straggler


rare sluggish, slow, or dawdling
Derived Formslaggardly, adverblaggardness, noun
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 laggard

1702 (adj.), from lag (v.) + -ard. From 1757 as a noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper