Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A rendering void; an annulment.
  • noun The voiding of a contract or deed.
  • noun A clause within a contract or deed providing for annulment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An undoing; ruin; defeat; overthrow.
  • noun A rendering null and void.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A defeat; an overthrow.
  • noun A rendering null or void.
  • noun (Law) 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Destruction, defeat, overthrow.
  • noun US, law The rendering void of a contract or deed; an annulment.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English defesaunce, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French defesance, from defesant, present participle of desfaire, to destroy; see defeat.]

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