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[dih-fee-zuh ns]
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noun Law.
  1. a rendering null and void.
  2. a condition on the performance of which a deed or other instrument is defeated or rendered void.
  3. a collateral deed or other writing embodying such a condition.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for defeasance


noun mainly law
  1. 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
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Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper