n. 1) Voluntarily concluding a lawsuit or criminal prosecution by one of the parties involved. 2) The judge's declaration that a criminal charge or lawsuit is ended. 3) Appeal court's dismissal of an appeal. This lets the lower court's decision stand. 4) The plaintiff's act of settling a case and dismissing a lawsuit. A dismissal with prejudice indicates that the lawsuit can never be filed again. A dismissal without prejudice leaves the option to file the lawsuit again if the defendant does not follow through on the settlement terms.