Adjourn Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Adjourn, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Adjourn?

v. to dismiss, by some court, legislative assembly, or properly authorized officer, the business or proceedings. Two kind of adjourning could be possible, 1.) sine die which is final dismissal, upon resolution of the thing being considered or, 2.) temporary adjourning in which the parties involved decide to meet again at some other time. The need to adjourn may arise from lack of quorum (typically in legislative bodies and during meeting) or from the need to take a break (as in chess).

History and Meaning of Adjourn

The word "adjourn" originated from Latin "adjournare" which means "to put off until tomorrow." The term is commonly used in legal and parliamentary settings, where it refers to the act of postponing a hearing, trial, or proceeding to a later date or terminating it entirely. Temporary adjournments of proceedings are often made in order to give participants time to gather additional information or to consult with others.

Examples of Adjourn

  1. The judge adjourned the trial until the following Monday.
  2. The meeting was adjourned until a later date due to a lack of quorum.
  3. The House of Representatives voted to adjourn the session for the day.
  4. The court adjourned sine die after delivering the sentencing verdict.

Legal Terms Similar to Adjourn

  1. Recess - A temporary suspension of proceedings, such as a break taken during a court hearing or parliamentary session.
  2. Continuance - A delay in a legal proceeding during which the parties are given additional time to prepare or gather evidence.
  3. Subpoena - A legal order requiring a person to appear in court or to provide evidence or testimony.