dis·​con·​tin·​ue ˌdis-kən-ˈtin-(ˌ)yü How to pronounce discontinue (audio)
discontinued; discontinuing; discontinues

transitive verb

: to break the continuity of : cease to operate, administer, use, produce, or take
: to abandon or terminate by a legal discontinuance

intransitive verb

: to come to an end
discontinuation noun
Choose the Right Synonym for discontinue

stop, cease, quit, discontinue, desist mean to suspend or cause to suspend activity.

stop applies to action or progress or to what is operating or progressing and may imply suddenness or definiteness.

stopped at the red light

cease applies to states, conditions, or existence and may add a suggestion of gradualness and a degree of finality.

by nightfall the fighting had ceased

quit may stress either finality or abruptness in stopping or ceasing.

the engine faltered, sputtered, then quit altogether

discontinue applies to the stopping of an accustomed activity or practice.

we have discontinued the manufacture of that item

desist implies forbearance or restraint as a motive for stopping or ceasing.

desisted from further efforts to persuade them

Examples of discontinue in a Sentence

He discontinued his visits to the psychiatrist. She chose to discontinue her studies. The company has announced that the current model will be discontinued next year. They are planning to discontinue bus service between the two towns.
Recent Examples on the Web Side effects are one of the main reasons patients discontinue treatments. TIME, 4 Apr. 2024 Her left and right disks were replaced in 1992 with a muscle flap and rib graft, respectively, and her entire right joint was replaced with yet another implant that was later discontinued in 1998. Anna Werner, CBS News, 4 Apr. 2024 The fund has given out at least three quarters of a billion euros to manufacturers, half of whom have announced plans to shut down operations, lay off staff or discontinue the projects completely, according to an analysis of project data by Bloomberg Green. John Ainger, Fortune Europe, 2 Apr. 2024 Adding to the problem, insurers are discontinuing coverage of homes even after customers make fire protection modifications. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, 1 Apr. 2024 The medicine never took off, and Biogen discontinued it in January. Meg Tirrell, CNN, 8 Mar. 2024 The poll, however, shows a partisan split: 62% of President Joe Biden's supporters favor the halt in shipments, while only 30% of Donald Trump supporters want the shipments discontinued. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 7 Mar. 2024 Major carriers have discontinued or restricted coverage in recent years following a series of costly wildfires — 14 of California’s 20 most destructive wildfires burned the state in the last 10 years. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, 23 Mar. 2024 The Wienermobile program was discontinued in 1976 and the vehicles were retired from service in 1977. Jenna Prestininzi, Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discontinue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French discontinuer, from Medieval Latin discontinuare, from Latin dis- + continuare to continue

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of discontinue was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near discontinue

Cite this Entry

“Discontinue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discontinue. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​con·​tin·​ue ˌdis-kən-ˈtin-yü How to pronounce discontinue (audio)
: to cease to operate, use, produce, or take
will discontinue that product
: to bring or come to an end : stop
discontinued broadcast of my favorite show

More from Merriam-Webster on discontinue

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