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[lach-iz] /ˈlætʃ ɪz/
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.
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for laches
  • Finally, respondent argues for summary relief on the basis of laches or the tardiness of the claim.
  • The trial court ruled that service was defective but that laches precluded appellant from attacking the decree.
  • The court ultimately dismissed on grounds of laches.
  • As to laches, obviously there was no undue delay in seeking judicial review of the validity of the zone change.
British Dictionary definitions for laches


(law) negligence or unreasonable delay in pursuing a legal remedy
Word Origin
C14 lachesse, via Old French lasche slack, from Latin laxuslax
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
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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
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