[ lit-i-guhnt ]
/ ˈlɪt ɪ gənt /
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a person engaged in a lawsuit.
litigating; engaged in a lawsuit.
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Origin of litigant

1630–40; <Latin lītigant- (stem of lītigāns, present participle of lītigāre to go to law), equivalent to līt- (stem of līs) a lawsuit + -ig- (combining form of agere to carry on) + -ant--ant


litigant , litigator
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does litigant mean?

A litigant is a person engaged in a lawsuit.

To litigate is 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. Less commonly, litigator can also be used as a synonym for litigant.

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).

Litigant can also be used as an adjective to describe someone engaged in litigation, but this is much less common than its use as a noun.

Example: The litigants have agreed to avoid further litigation and settle out of court.

Where does litigant come from?

The first records of the word litigant come from the 1630s. It ultimately 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. The parties to such lawsuits are the litigants. Litigation is often expensive and time-consuming (which might be good for the litigators but not so much for their clients, the litigants). For this reason, people often try to avoid litigation when they’re on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Some choose to go through arbitration, which is a process in which a third party helps to settle the dispute.

Litigants who do engage in litigation and present their cases in court can still agree to settle before a decision is reached by the court—meaning they agree to stop litigating and come to a deal on their own (though often still with the help of the litigators).

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What are some other forms related to litigant?

What are some words that share a root or word element with litigant

What are some words that often get used in discussing litigant?

How is litigant used in real life?

The word litigant is typically used in the context of lawsuits.



Try using litigant!

True or False? 

Litigant can be used as an adjective.

How to use litigant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for litigant

/ (ˈlɪtɪɡənt) /

a party to a lawsuit
engaged in litigation
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