Definition of litigate in English:



  • 1 Resort to legal action to settle a matter; be involved in a lawsuit.

    ‘the plaintiff is prepared to litigate’
    • ‘At the same time, the church has every incentive to litigate, because the litigation is cost-free.’
    • ‘After all, the very reason why parties conclude an arbitration agreement is because they do not wish to litigate in the Courts.’
    • ‘Men plow fields, cut grain, litigate in court, and serve in the local militia.’
    • ‘It may also help some who have insisted on litigating, but don't really want to, to be able to accept the Fund offer without, at the same time, feeling they are sacrificing their right to know.’
    • ‘As well the added burden of Ms Cook's ill health caused her to be disinclined to litigate.’
    • ‘You have a very limited right of appeal on a point of law, or the wrongful reception of evidence, not the general appeal that you would have had if you had litigated in the Supreme Court of South Australia.’
    • ‘We can win it only if we do not force our forces to fight in a legal fog, constantly speculating and litigating piecemeal about what the law might be.’
    • ‘Between 1998 and 2000, she litigated seven sweat-patch cases on behalf of clients accused of violating their supervised release by using drugs.’
    • ‘The jurisdiction point having been abandoned by negotiations, the parties would have been free to litigate in whatever jurisdiction was willing to accept jurisdiction for the proceedings.’
    • ‘Tenants have a statutory right to litigate and the Roberts were entitled to regard that right jealously.’
    • ‘They do not need a power which deprives a litigant of his right to litigate.’
    • ‘I could not litigate under the Trade Practices Act before this Court of law because I would be duplicating the proceeding.’
    • ‘It would not be fair or reasonable to force the Plaintiffs to continue to litigate against their will merely on the basis that they commenced a class proceeding.’
    • ‘And as it found, litigating against the government's antitrust legal eagles can be a long, drawn-out affair.’
    • ‘One does not take away that choice by permitting, encouraging or preventing the exhortation of the citizen to litigate or not to litigate.’
    • ‘A purpose of pre-action disclosure is to assist those who need disclosure as a vital step in deciding whether to litigate at all or to provide a vital ingredient in the pleading of their case.’
    • ‘It is not an abuse of process merely to require a litigant to litigate in a tribunal of a Convention country if that tribunal in fact has jurisdiction under the convention.’
    • ‘It is expensive to litigate in defamation, even in the smaller cases, let alone monster cases like this.’
    • ‘The Claimant would then have to litigate in England against the English Defendant and in Germany against the German Defendant.’
    • ‘To begin with, prisoners are among the least lucrative of clients, and certainly the least sympathetic to juries, so that few lawyers are willing to litigate on their behalf.’
    1. 1.1[with object]Take (a claim or a dispute) to a law court.
      ‘even a claim which is litigated and defended successfully involves high legal costs’
      • ‘They remove the presumption of innocence, they remove an accused person's right to have the matter litigated in court, it removes the State's obligation to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt.’
      • ‘It would be an abuse of process to litigate these claims again in Ontario.’
      • ‘Clients are free to reject the advice and insist that cases be litigated.’
      • ‘It would be mischievous to continue to litigate, pending arbitration, matters which depend so much on the facts which form the basis of the arbitration.’
      • ‘Many of the issues litigated in the family justice system require open and public debate in the media.’
      • ‘The bankruptcy does not affect his ability to litigate such claims.’
      • ‘Most of the new rules allocate parental status without the need to litigate the issue.’
      • ‘I need legal representation to litigate this matter.’
      • ‘I think it is, your Honour, but that issue was never litigated.’
      • ‘Instead of fighting it and litigating every claim, they start with an apology and move to mediation.’
      • ‘Now, let's say litigating the case has gone beyond those 100 hours.’
      • ‘That is a matter which lies at the heart of the very issue that the appellant seeks to litigate and for that reason it is not a fact which should be relied upon on a summary judgment application.’
      • ‘These paragraphs, as pleaded, are the framework within which that court foresaw the spoliation issues being litigated.’
      • ‘The question of whether employees can sign away their rights to litigate wage claims collectively is not going away.’
      • ‘Their decision not to litigate the claim was deliberate.’
      • ‘The test is not what would have happened had the matter been litigated.’
      • ‘This treaty addresses many liability issues that attorneys would be involved in litigating.’
      • ‘This is the sole issue that that organisation really could litigate in the courts.’
      • ‘However, as more private investment groups invest in litigation support, the issue has begun to get litigated more and more.’


Early 17th century: from Latin litigat- disputed in a lawsuit, from the verb litigare, from lis, lit- lawsuit.