Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Law The party that institutes a suit in a court.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A party bringing a suit in civil law against a defendant; accusers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who commences a personal action or suit to obtain a remedy for an injury to his rights; -- opposed to defendant.
  • adj. See plaintive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In law, the person who begins a suit before a tribunal for the recovery of a claim: opposed to defendant.
  • Complaining.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who brings an action in a court of law

Etymologies

Middle English plaintif, from Anglo-Norman pleintif, from Old French plaintif, aggrieved; see plaintive.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English plaintif, from Old French plaintif ("complaining; as a noun, one who complains, a plaintiff") from the verb plaindre. See plaintive. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • If on the other hand you're having an unusually large tiff, you will of course need a bigger word as well.

    October 30, 2008

  • Quite right: I had first thought 'English law' would be specific enough, but changed my mind and came back to add 'England and Wales' to my first posting. 'English law', while it is unlikely to mean "English-language law", is still rather vague about jurisdictions.

    August 18, 2008

  • still used in American courts. "Claimant" is often seen in claims involving administrative law in the US.

    August 18, 2008

  • English law term, replaced by 'claimant' in 1999 (in England and Wales).

    August 18, 2008