verb dis·con·tin·ue \ ˌdis-kən-ˈtin-(ˌ)yü \
Updated on: 14 Jan 2018

Definition of discontinue

transitive verb
1 : to break the continuity of : cease to operate, administer, use, produce, or take
2 : to abandon or terminate by a legal discontinuance
intransitive verb
: to come to an end


play \-kən-ˌtin-yə-ˈwā-shən, -yü-ˈā-\ noun

Examples of discontinue in a Sentence

  1. He discontinued his visits to the psychiatrist.

  2. She chose to discontinue her studies.

  3. The company has announced that the current model will be discontinued next year.

  4. They are planning to discontinue bus service between the two towns.

Recent Examples of discontinue from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discontinue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of discontinue

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

DISCONTINUE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of discontinue for English Language Learners

  • : to end (something)

  • : to stop making or offering (a product, service, etc.)

DISCONTINUE Defined for Kids


verb dis·con·tin·ue \ ˌdis-kən-ˈtin-yü \

Definition of discontinue for Students

discontinued; discontinuing
: to bring to an end : stop She discontinued her weekly visits.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up discontinue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


relating to a homily or preaching

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's That From? A Word Origin Quiz

  • turris-babel-by-athanasius-kircher
  • What language gave the word robot to English?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!