Definition of laches in English:



mass nounLaw
  • Unreasonable delay in asserting a claim, which may result in its dismissal.

    • ‘And the the Tacoma band lost its trademark claim on the basis of laches.’
    • ‘The defendant, therefore, argued that the Section 43(a) claim was barred by the doctrine of laches and that the Illinois Trademark and UDTPA claims were barred by the applicable statutes of limitations.’
    • ‘This traditional function suggests that laches should be limited to cases in which no statute of limitations applies.’
    • ‘Those who thought that all concepts of laches and similar issue preclusions from the passage of time have been thoroughly excised from the law of paternity and child support now stand corrected.’
    • ‘Thus this Court must uphold the Probate Court's decision to find laches inapplicable to this action.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘slackness, negligence’): from Old French laschesse, from lasche ‘loose, lax’, based on Latin laxus. The current sense dates from the late 16th century.