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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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 ).
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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The club's two biggest stars, captain Cesc Fabregas and key creative midfielder Samir Nasri, are expected to follow Clichy out of the door - Ladbrokes make both players 2-5 to have sealed moves before September 1.
Back-five forward Buist tied up his London Irish move yesterday, after completing his medical, joining the host of Falcons who have already sealed moves for next year.
Shiels' squad has been weakened by the loss of Kelly and Nelson in particular who sealed moves to Bristol City and Bradford City respectively.
THREE of Southport's title-winning squad have sealed moves to Droylsden - as another player looks Football League-bound.