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 This forecast is based on Citi Research’s central scenario that the European Central Bank will discontinue reinvestments under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme from April 2024. WSJ, 17 Nov. 2023 Both shades are now discontinued, sadly, so Robbie's mani mix is truly unique to her. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 16 Nov. 2023 The company is discontinuing development of the drug, called zunsemetinib, including an ongoing study in psoriasis. Meghana Keshavan, STAT, 13 Nov. 2023 The program is a revamp of a similar humanities degree that dates back to 1974 but was discontinued in the last decade due to declining enrollment. Hannah Wiley, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2023 But don’t worry about missing out on any toys your family’s had its eye on—members get exclusive access to items that have been discontinued from past kits. Simone Scully, Parents, 26 Oct. 2023 The Dolphins won six in a row from 1973 to ’78 before the sport was discontinued for nearly three decades. Steve Galluzzo, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 The model was launched in 1980 and discontinued in ‘98. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 7 Nov. 2023 However, if your dog experiences any adverse reactions like redness, swelling, or irritation, discontinue use and consult with your veterinarian. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 5 Nov. 2023 See More

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 1 Dec. 2023.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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