View synonyms for litigable


[ lit-i-guh-buhl ]


  1. subject to litigation; actionable by a lawsuit.


/ ˈlɪtɪɡəbəl /


  1. law that may be the subject of litigation

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Word History and Origins

Origin of litigable1

1755–65; < Latin lītigā ( re ) to go to law ( litigate ) + -ble


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More About Litigable

What does litigable mean?

Litigable means subject to legal action, especially a lawsuit.

It comes from the verb litigate, which means to engage in a legal proceeding, such as a lawsuit. It can mean to bring a lawsuit or to contest one. The word especially refers to what lawyers do in such a proceeding. In fact, another name for a lawyer is litigator, especially a lawyer who specializes in civil cases. The related word litigant refers to a person engaged in a lawsuit.

The process of engaging in a legal proceeding is called litigation. To be in litigation typically means to be engaged in a civil legal proceeding (as opposed to a criminal one, in which one is said to be on trial).

A case is described as litigable when it may be the subject of litigation. Whether or not a case is litigable is determined before it goes to court.

Example: Published comments like these constitute libel and are considered litigable.

Where does litigable come from?

The first records of the word litigable come from around 1760. Its base word, litigate, derives from the Latin verb lītigāre, meaning “to go to law,” from līt- (a stem of līs, meaning “lawsuit”) and agere, “to carry on.”

Litigators litigate, and litigating often takes the form of carrying on a lawsuit. If an action is described as litigable, it typically means that someone can sue (or be sued) over it. Litigable is typically applied to civil cases, whereas the word prosecutable is typically used in criminal cases—meaning a suspect can be prosecuted for their alleged crime. Still, litigable implies that some kind of wrong has been done or some kind of rule has been broken.

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How is litigable used in real life?

The word litigable is most often used in the context of lawsuits or potential lawsuits.



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True or False? 

Litigable is usually applied to civil cases.