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[dih-fee-zuh ns] /dɪˈfi zəns/
noun, Law.
a rendering null and void.
a condition on the performance of which a deed or other instrument is defeated or rendered void.
a collateral deed or other writing embodying such a condition.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English defesance < Anglo-French defesaunce, Old French defesance, equivalent to desfes- (past participle stem of desfaire to undo; see defeat) + -ance -ance
Related forms
nondefeasance, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for defeasance
  • The final regulations apply only to guaranteed investment contracts and yield restricted defeasance escrows.
  • defeasance of debt can be either legal or in-substance.
British Dictionary definitions for defeasance


noun (mainly law)
the act or process of rendering null and void; annulment
  1. a condition, the fulfilment of which renders a deed void
  2. the document containing such a condition
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from desfaire to defeat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for defeasance
early 15c., from Anglo-Fr. defesaunce, O.Fr. defesance "undoing, destruction," from O.Fr. defesant, prp. of desfaire (Mod.Fr. défaire) "to undo, destroy," from des- (see dis-) + faire "to do" (from L. facere; see factitious). Related: Defease (late 15c.); defeasible (1580s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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