From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
1. The act of discontinuing, or the state of being discontinued; want of continued connection or continuity; breaking off; cessation; interruption; as, a discontinuance of conversation or intercourse; discontinuance of a highway or of travel.
2. (Law) (a) A breaking off or interruption of an estate, which happened when an alienation was made by a tenant in tail, or other tenant, seized in right of another, of a larger estate than the tenant was entitled to, whereby the party ousted or injured was driven to his real action, and could not enter. This effect of such alienation is now obviated by statute in both England and the United States. (b) The termination of an action in practice by the voluntary act of the plaintiff; an entry on the record that the plaintiff discontinues his action. (c) That technical interruption of the proceedings in pleading in an action, which follows where a defendant does not answer the whole of the plaintiff's declaration, and the plaintiff omits to take judgment for the part unanswered. --Wharton's Law Dict. Burrill.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
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