Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to dilatory: dilatory plea, anathema


Tending to cause a delay in judicial proceedings.

Dilatory tactics are methods by which the rules of procedure are used by a party to a lawsuit in an abusive manner to delay the progress of the proceedings. For example, when numerous motions brought before a court for postponement are baseless, time is wasted because the court must stop the course of ongoing proceedings to examine whether there is any merit to the motions. The party in whose interests the motion is brought uses this tactic to gain time to enhance his or her position, or to postpone an action by a court as long as possible to minimize the impact of a decree rendered against him or her. A party found to engage in dilatory tactics may be held in Contempt of court.


adjective after time, behind time, belated, delayed, delaying, deliberately slow, eleventh hour, inclined to delay, indolent, intended to bring about delay, intended to defer decision, intended to gain time, lackadaisical, last minute, late, overdue, procrastinative, procrastinatory, remiss, tardy
Associated concepts: dilatory defense, dilatory exceptions, dilatory motion, dilatory plea, dilatory practice
See also: indolent, otiose, remiss, truant

DILATORY. That which is intended for delay. It is a maxim, that delays in law are odious, dilationes in lege sunt odiosae. Plowd. 75.

References in classic literature ?
I made this nurse the following offer: If she would bring the dilatory boy to my rooms and leave him there for half an hour I would look at him.
Ernestine Wendermott travelled back to London in much discomfort, being the eleventh occupant of a third-class carriage in a particularly unpunctual and dilatory train.
Had Captain Jorgensen not been dilatory in his contemplated smashing, and had not Hanson delayed in giving sufficient provocation for a smashing, Michael would have accompanied Steward upon the schooner, Howard, and all Michael's subsequent experiences would have been totally different from what they were destined to be.
It is inconceivable to us of to-day--the bungling, dilatory processes of justice a generation ago.
The latter method of obtaining the desired intelligence was dilatory and unsatisfactory; besides, I had an insurmountable aversion to the idea of engaging myself in my loathsome task in my father's house while in habits of familiar intercourse with those I loved.
The leader of the emigrants cast his eyes, understandingly, about him, and examined the place with the keenness of one competent to judge of so nice a question, though in that dilatory and heavy manner, which rarely permitted him to betray precipitation.
PTI candidate Murad who suffered defeat in election and his counsel informed the tribunal that Khawaja Suleman Rafiq is using dilatory tactics to prolong the matter and he is not appearing for recording his statement despite being summoned by tribunal.
Besides, Haider Lehri also used dilatory tactics to identify posts on which elections were to be held as well as nomination forms as required by the constitution.
In order to make a determination that someone has waived his or her right to a lawyer through conduct, the court must first find that the defendant engaged in dilatory and abusive behavior, was sufficiently warned not to continue such conduct, understood the risks of proceeding without counsel and ignored the court's warnings and continued with the conduct, the judge said.
She shall not adopt any delay tactics during the hearing of her appeal in Karnataka High Court, as she did in trial court, to get automatic extension of her bail period ; Bail will be cancelled if it is found that dilatory tactics are being adopted ; Jayalalithaa's legal team should submit all documents to Karnataka HC within two months.
Will he be wandering the town throughout next winter due to the dilatory and disjointed priorities the Caerphilly council and others give to this parochial issue, and, is the extract and symbol of Welsh greatness and patriotism demonstrated in the words engraved on the Welsh Dragon under which Carl sleeps true at all?
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill this January took focus at the DoD and VA for their dilatory pace in developing the iEHR between the two agencies.