Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    Dismissal of an action; an ouster of a reversioner by the grant by a tenant in tail of a larger estate than he had; failure of the plaintiff to continue his action. See 12 W. Va. 70, 29 Am. Rep. 445.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In practice. The termination of an action, in consequence of the plaintiff's omitting to continue the process or proceedings by proper entries on the record. 3 Bl. Comm. 296; 1 Tidd, Pr. 678; 2 Arch. Pr. K. B. 233. Hadwin v. Railway Co.., 67 S. C. 463, 45 S. E. 1019; Gillespie v. Bailey, 12 W. Va. 70, 29 Am. Rep. 455; Kennedy v. McNickle, 7 Phila. (Pa.) 217; Insurance Co. v. Francis, 52 Miss. 467, 24 Am. Rep. 674. In practice, a discontinuance is a chasm or gap left by neglecting to enter a continuance. By our practice, a neglect to enter a continuance, even in a defaulted action, by no means puts an end to it, and such actions may always be brought forward. Taft v. Northern Transp. Co., 56 N. H. 416. The cessation of the proceedings In an action where the plaintiff voluntarily puts an end -to it, either by giving notice in writing to the defendant before any step has been taken in the action subsequent to the answer, or at any other time by order of the court or a judge. In practice, discontinuance and dismissal import the same thing, viz., that the cause is sent out of court. Thurman v. James, 48 Mo. 235. In pleading. That technical interruption of the proceedings in an action which follows where a defendant does not answer the whole of the plaintiff's declaration, and the plaintiff omits to take judgment for the part unanswered. Steph. PL 216, 217.