dis·​miss·​al | \ dis-ˈmi-səl How to pronounce dismissal (audio) \

Definition of dismissal

: the act of dismissing : the fact or state of being dismissed

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Synonyms for dismissal


ax (or axe), discharge, furlough, layoff, redundancy [chiefly British]

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Examples of dismissal in a Sentence

numerous dismissals from the company during the economic slump

Recent Examples on the Web

The man agreed to a disciplinary dismissal of two years, according to the settlement. Annie Martin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Ex-UCF students who sued over expulsion for sex allegations settle," 11 July 2018 But the dismissal of the current group’s members is likely exacerbate concerns among Democrats that Mulvaney is weakening the consumer watchdog agency. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Mick Mulvaney fires members of CFPB advisory board," 7 June 2018 The plaintiffs have moved to dismiss Blomquist's counterclaim and say all his discovery demands should be put on hold until there's a ruling on a dismissal. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mequon executive counters sex-tape privacy suit with his own claim of secret recordings," 29 May 2018 Brown denied the allegations, but boasted publicly that their dismissals led to faster permitting. Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "Oil industry allies challenge California regulator's funding request | The Sacramento Bee," 14 May 2018 The latest alleged misconduct in question emerged in private email exchanges introduced as part of the lawsuit challenging the board’s recent dismissal of Executive Director Paula Littlewood. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Amid turmoil, judge rules Washington State Bar Association must disclose correspondence that explains director’s firing," 14 Apr. 2019 The globe-spanning auto alliance of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is shuffling management in the wake of Carlos Ghosn’s arrest and dismissal, reassigning senior executives who worked alongside the auto titan. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Shakes Up Management After Ghosn Arrest," 13 Mar. 2019 And the Treasury wouldn’t provide a clear rationale for Mr. Thomas’s dismissal. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "Former Rusal Chair ‘Astonished’ U.S. Pushed Him Out," 31 Jan. 2019 The case has gone back and forth, with Tesla repeatedly calling for a dismissal. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Nikola teases a third-generation hydrogen semi truck for Europe and Asia," 5 Nov. 2018

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

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First Known Use of dismissal

1778, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for dismissal

Last Updated

4 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dismissal

The first known use of dismissal was in 1778

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More Definitions for dismissal


dis·​miss·​al | \ dis-ˈmi-səl How to pronounce dismissal (audio) \

Kids Definition of dismissal

: the act of dismissing : the state or fact of being dismissed The students will have an early dismissal.



Legal Definition of dismissal

1 : removal from a position or service
2a : the termination of an action or claim usually before the presentation of evidence by the defendant
involuntary dismissal
1 : the dismissal of an action by the court because of the plaintiff's failure to pursue his or her case
2 : the dismissal of an action by the court upon motion of the defendant after presentation of the plaintiff's case made on the grounds that the plaintiff has shown no right to relief

Note: An involuntary dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) prevents the plaintiff from bringing suit again based on the same claim.

voluntary dismissal
: the dismissal of an action by the plaintiff

Note: Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a), a plaintiff may dismiss an action without a court order anytime before the defendant serves an answer or moves for summary judgment, or by stipulation of the parties. Otherwise, a court order is required. A court-ordered dismissal will not prevent the plaintiff from bringing the action again unless the order so states. A dismissal without a court order will not bar the plaintiff from bringing the action again unless the plaintiff has brought the same action already.

b : the cancellation of an indictment, information, complaint, or charge

Note: Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48, the attorney for the government may dismiss the indictment, information, or complaint with the court's approval. The court may also dismiss it if there is unnecessary delay in the government's prosecution of the case.

c : a document setting forth the request for a dismissal plaintiff filed a dismissal

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Comments on dismissal

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


something valued as if it were money

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