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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 periodicals archive ?
Mr Abdullahi opposed the application stating that the State cannot seek an adjournment when it has refused to obey a court order directing it to respect his clients' rights.
Durrani gave the floor to Parliamentary Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro so he could present the government's version on the adjournment motion.
K Mmrakwe, Counsel to the second, third, fifth, and sixth accused respectively objected to the request for adjournment.
On behalf of the PTI , MNA Murad Saeed has submitted the adjournment motion demanding a debate on the issue by suspending the rest of the agenda.
They did not return to the House till adjournment of sitting at 1818 hours.
Justice Isa asked the lawyer on whose recommendation the application for adjournment had been filed.
The company added that during the period of the adjournment, the company will continue to solicit proxies from its stockholders with respect to the proposals set forth in the proxy statement.
Arguing against that an adjournment motion is to be disallowed if it was based merely on a press statement he quoted Kaul that there is no objection per se simply because the issue happens to be based on a newspaper report.
The BJP does not have sufficient numbers to bring an adjournment motion, which automatically puts aside the agenda of the House proceedings.
Rules allow adjournment motions in the houses to pave way for discussion by voting.
After the House reassembled, the opposition members persisted with their protests in the well and forced adjournment for the day.
After another adjournment Judge Nolan said in the interests of justice he had to discharge the jury just four days into the trial.