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[lit-i-geyt] /ˈlɪt ɪˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), litigated, litigating.
to make the subject of a lawsuit; contest at law.
Archaic. to dispute (a point, assertion, etc.).
verb (used without object), litigated, litigating.
to carry on a lawsuit.
Origin of litigate
First recorded in 1605-15, litigate is from the Latin word lītigātus (past participle of lītigāre to go to law). See litigant, -ate1
Related forms
litigative, adjective
relitigate, verb (used with object), relitigated, relitigating.
unlitigated, adjective
unlitigating, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for litigate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How often, Mr. Lovelace, must I repeat, that I will not litigate with my father?

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • He knew it, I told him, to be my resolution not to litigate with my father.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • They cannot come into court to litigate their claims, nor can a court decide on them.

  • They are now protected by the treaty, but we will litigate them out of all their grants.

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas Richard Henry Savage
  • I did not know but that you had found something besides to litigate.

    Lemorne Versus Huell Elizabeth Drew Stoddard
  • I must begin with blaming you, my dear, for your resolution not to litigate for your right, if occasion were to be given you.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • But so long as it's nobody but Goshorn, I'm goin' to stay and litigate the question till the Millerite millennium comes.

    The End Of The World Edward Eggleston
  • He would not approve of her accepting the hand of a man who would be resolved to litigate this matter with him.

    Miss Mackenzie

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for litigate


to bring or contest (a claim, action, etc) in a lawsuit
(intransitive) to engage in legal proceedings
Derived Forms
litigator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin lītigāre, from līt-, stem of līs lawsuit + agere to carry on
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 litigate

1610s, from Middle French litigier and directly from Latin litigatus, past participle of litigare "to dispute, carry on a suit" (see litigation). Related: Litigated; litigating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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