a judgment given against a plaintiff who neglects to prosecute, or who fails to show a legal cause of action or to bring sufficient evidence.

verb (used with object)

to subject to a nonsuit.

Origin of nonsuit

1350–1400; non- + suit; replacing Middle English nounsuyt < Anglo-French nounsute Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nonsuit

Historical Examples of nonsuit

  • Nonsuit for the plaintiffs—for the young student a hum of commendation.

    A Book About Lawyers

    John Cordy Jeaffreson

  • In cases of nonsuit, and also when no cause of action is found, judgment is rendered against the plantiff for the costs.

  • If a plaintiff does not answer or appear when his name is called in court, the justice enters judgment of nonsuit.

  • Then the Claimant's advisers, to avoid the inevitable verdict for their opponents, elected to be nonsuit.

  • That was made at nisi prius in answer to a motion for a nonsuit in an action brought for an infringement of a patent right.

British Dictionary definitions for nonsuit



an order of a judge dismissing a suit when the plaintiff fails to show he has a good cause of action or fails to produce any evidence


(tr) to order the dismissal of the suit of (a person)
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