[ li-tij-uhs ]
/ lɪˈtɪdʒ əs /
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See synonyms for: litigious / litigiousness on Thesaurus.com

of or relating to litigation.
excessively or readily inclined to litigate: a litigious person.
inclined to dispute or disagree; argumentative.
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Origin of litigious

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin lītigiōsus contentious, equivalent to lītigi(um) a quarrel (see litigant, -ium) + -ōsus-ous


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does litigious mean?

Litigious is an adjective that’s used to describe a person or organization that is prone to suing other people or companies.

It typically implies that such lawsuits are frivolous or excessive.

The related verb litigate means to engage in a legal proceeding, such as a lawsuit. It can mean to bring a lawsuit or to contest one.

Litigate can also be used in a somewhat figurative or general way meaning to intensely dispute or argue something, as if one were a lawyer in a courtroom setting, as in It’s just a minor issue—we don’t have to litigate it over and over again.  

In the same way, litigious can also be used to describe someone who’s prone to arguing. A close synonym is argumentative.

The tendency to be litigious is called litigiousness.

Less commonly, litigious can also be used to describe anything involving litigation.

Example: The megacorporation is known for being litigious—constantly firing off lawsuits as a first resort.

Where does litigious come from?

The first records of the word litigious come from the 1300s. It derives from the Latin lītigiōsus, which means “contentious” and is related to the Latin lītigi(um), meaning “a quarrel.”

Companies considered litigious are often those that use lawsuits as a normal way of doing business. A person who’s described as litigious in this way often sues people or organizations all time, engaging in one lawsuit after another.

Someone who’s described as litigious in a general sense is always arguing, especially in a tedious way, as if they were a lawyer in a courtroom.

Both senses of the word are typically applied to people or companies who tend to wear others down with their constant litigating.

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What are some other forms related to litigious?

  • litigiously (adverb)
  • litigiousness (noun)
  • litigiosity (noun)

What are some synonyms for litigious?

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

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

How is litigious used in real life?

The word litigious is most commonly used in the context of lawsuits, but it can also be used in a general way.



Try using litigious!

Is litigious used correctly in the following sentence? 

One of the other students in my class is so litigious that every time he answers a question it turns into a debate.

How to use litigious in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for litigious

/ (lɪˈtɪdʒəs) /

excessively ready to go to law
of or relating to litigation
inclined to dispute or disagree

Derived forms of litigious

litigiously, adverblitigiousness, noun

Word Origin for litigious

C14: from Latin lītigiōsus quarrelsome, from lītigium strife
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