I understand the word, "litigate" to indicate some kind of legal action. However, I have recently come across the word "re-litigate" in a context that implies a difference of opinion that has not (yet?) become a matter for the courts.

  • Is a non-legal sense of "re-litigate" common usage?

I've lived all my life in the UK, but to my recollection, I have not heard the word before.

  • Is usage of the the word "re-litigate" more common outside the UK? In the US, for example?
  • 2
    It just means "litigate again". In a context where litigate implies legal proceedings, so does re-litigate; if not, not. Oct 23, 2019 at 19:24
  • Your title appears to be asking a slightly different question to the body. Oct 23, 2019 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


Not a common usage, probably based on sense of litigate: (archaic) : Dispute. (M-W)

Relitigate: (transitive) To dispute, debate, contest again.

2010, Lexington, The Economist, 5 Aug 2010: Like Mr bin Laden, Mr Gingrich is apparently still relitigating the victories and defeats of religious wars fought in Europe and the Middle East centuries ago.


  • 1
    Synonymous to 'appealing judgement' then? Oct 23, 2019 at 19:49

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