from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A rendering void; an annulment.
- n. The voiding of a contract or deed.
- n. A clause within a contract or deed providing for annulment.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Destruction, defeat, overthrow.
- n. The rendering void of a contract or deed; an annulment.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A defeat; an overthrow.
- n. A rendering null or void.
- n. A condition, relating to a deed, which being performed, the deed is defeated or rendered void; or a collateral deed, made at the same time with a feoffment, or other conveyance, containing conditions, on the performance of which the estate then created may be defeated.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An undoing; ruin; defeat; overthrow.
- n. A rendering null and void.
- n. In law, a condition relating to a deed or other instrument, on performance of which the instrument is to be defeated or rendered void; or a collateral deed (in full, a deed of defeasance), made at the same time with a conveyance, containing conditions on the performance of which the estate created may be defeated.
Middle English defesaunce, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French defesance, from defesant, present participle of desfaire, to destroy; see defeat.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)