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A putting off or postponing of proceedings; an ending or dismissal of further business by a court, legislature, or public official—either temporarily or permanently.

If an adjournment is final, it is said to be sine die, "without day" or without a time fixed to resume the work. An adjournment is different from a recess, which is only a short break in proceedings.

In legislatures, adjournment officially marks the end of a regular session. Both state and federal lawmakers vote to determine when to adjourn. The exact timing depends upon multiple factors such as work load, election schedules, and the level of comity among lawmakers. Because a session can end with unfinished legislative business, adjournment is commonly used as a means of political leverage in securing or delaying action on important matters. In the U.S. Congress, where the single annual legislative session usually ends in the fall, the president may call an adjournment if the House and Senate cannot agree upon a date.

Further readings

Baumann, David, and Kirk Victor. 2001. "Congress: Pitfalls to Adjournment." National Journal (November 10).


Congress of the United States; Legislature.


noun adjournal, break, continuation, deferment, dilatio, discontinuation, extension, hold-over, intermission, interruption, moratorium, postponement, prolongation, prorogation, protraction, recess, reservation, respite, stay, suspension, termination
Associated concepts: adjournment for a session, adjournnent for the term, adjournment in contemplation of dississal, adjournment of a hearing, adjournment of a trial, adjournment of the court, sine die
See also: cessation, close, cloture, conclusion, deferment, discontinuance, end, extension, hiatus, pendency, termination


the postponement of the hearing of a case until some future date. The adjournment maybe to a specified date or for an indefinite period (sine die ).

ADJOURNMENT. The dismissal by some court, legislative assembly, or properly authorized officer, of the business before them, either finally, which is called an adjournment sine die, without day; or, to meet again at another time appointed, which is called a temporary adjournment. 2. The constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 5, 4, directs that "neither house, during the session of congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place, that that in which the two houses shall be sitting." Vide Com. Dig. h.t.; Vin. Ab. h.t.; Dict. de Jur. h.t.

References in classic literature ?
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
In a short conversation which I have had with Frederic Larsan, during the adjournment," declared the advocate, "he has made me understand that the death of the keeper may have been brought about otherwise than by the hand of Mathieu.
The apartment on the ground-floor in which it was held, was the Snuggery in question; the presidential tribune of the chairman, the pewter-pots, glasses, pipes, tobacco-ashes, and general flavour of members, were still as that convivial institution had left them on its adjournment.
After its diplomatic failure at the UN, the government of Pakistan has also opted to ban this one of the most committed and highly-professional charity organisation," The News quoted JI senators as saying in their adjournment motion filed at the Senate Secretariat.
Silbermann filed in May of 1989, the court is supposed to abide by 19 provisions, including the deposit of rent with the courts should the tenant request an adjournment and the above-mentioned availability of a court reporter.
ISLAMABAD -- Supreme Court (SC) has adjourned hearing of Police Foundation plots case till February remarking no more adjournment will be given on next hearing.
In their submissions, the ICAP representatives requested for an adjournment in order to prepare and submit an acceptable proposal to the matter at hand after mutual consultation with the parties concerned.
The BJP said on Monday that if the government does not allow a discussion on the issue through an adjournment motion, it would not allow the House to run.
To transact such other business as may properly come before the annual meeting or any postponement of or adjournment thereof.
ISLAMABAD -- Awami National Party (ANP) has decided to table adjournment motion against governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar on the plea that Altaf Hussain chief of MQM has talked of formation of technocrat government in the presence of governor Punjab.
However, Faisal Karim Kundi, Deputy Speaker said that adjournment motions for debate on the said subject were lying pending with the NA Secretariat and they would be placed on agenda for the session through proper proceedings.
TORONTO -- Morgan Meighen & Associates Limited ("MMA"), the manager and promoter of the Capstone Funds (Capstone Canadian Equity Fund, Capstone Balanced Fund, Capstone Global Equity Fund and Capstone Cash Management Fund), has announced that the concurrent special meetings of the unitholders, originally scheduled for August 26, 2005, has been postponed by way of adjournment and will be held on September 16, 2005 at 10:00 a.