• synonyms


[ dih-fee-zuh ns ]
/ dɪˈfi zəns /

noun Law.

a rendering null and void.
a condition on the performance of which a deed or other instrument is defeated or rendered void.
a collateral deed or other writing embodying such a condition.


abolishment, abolition, abrogation, cancellation, dissolution, invalidation, nullification, reversal, voidance

Nearby words

defamiliarization, defang, default, defaulter, defcon, defeasance, defease, defeasible, defeat, defeatism, defeatist

Origin of defeasance

1400–50; late Middle English defesance < Anglo-French defesaunce, Old French defesance, equivalent to desfes- (past participle stem of desfaire to undo; see defeat) + -ance -ance
Related formsnon·de·fea·sance, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defeasance

  • Defeasance in a bill of sale is the putting an end to the security by realizing the goods for the benefit of the mortgagee.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 10|Various
  • This condition is known as the defeasance because it defeats or undoes the bond.

  • It must be of a thing defeasible, and all the conditions must be strictly carried out before the defeasance can be consummated.

British Dictionary definitions for defeasance


/ (dɪˈfiːzəns) /

noun mainly law

the act or process of rendering null and void; annulment
  1. a condition, the fulfilment of which renders a deed void
  2. the document containing such a condition

Word Origin for defeasance

C14: from Old French, from desfaire to defeat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for defeasance



early 15c., from Anglo-French defesaunce, Old French desfaisance "undoing, destruction," from desfaire (Modern French défaire) "to undo, destroy" (see defeat (v.)). Related: Defease; defeasible.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper