[dih-fee-zuh ns]

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.

Nearby words

  1. defamiliarization,
  2. defang,
  3. default,
  4. defaulter,
  5. defcon,
  6. defease,
  7. defeasible,
  8. defeat,
  9. defeatism,
  10. 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

British Dictionary definitions for defeasance


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