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


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Examples of dismissal in a Sentence

numerous dismissals from the company during the economic slump
Recent Examples on the Web Several said they were abused by Brignac, a longtime teacher in local Catholic schools, before his 1976 ordination as a deacon but after his 1960 dismissal from the Christian Brothers religious order. David A. Hammer, NOLA.com, "Monster in our midst: Despite predatory past, deacon welcomed back to Catholic institutions," 18 Dec. 2020 And Sally Yates, former acting attorney general, lectured at Georgetown following her dismissal from the Trump administration. Washington Post, "Kamala Harris’ husband, lawyer Doug Emhoff, to teach next semester at Georgetown," 13 Dec. 2020 Newton had a chip on his shoulder after his dismissal from the Carolina Panthers. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: By bullying their old foes on national stage, Rams confirm how far the Patriots have fallen," 11 Dec. 2020 When the story made national headlines, top Democrats in the state called for an investigation into her dismissal. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "What’s Happening To Rebekah Jones, The Florida Data Scientist Whose Home Was Raided," 8 Dec. 2020 Taylor seems not to have seen his dismissal coming. Kate Aurthur, chicagotribune.com, "Jax Taylor fired from Bravo’s ‘Vanderpump Rules’," 5 Dec. 2020 In the days after Mossadegh’s decision to ignore his dismissal, chaos reigned in Iran. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "‘Blame America First’ Crowd Resurrects an Old Myth," 3 Dec. 2020 Krebs found out about his dismissal from that very tweet, according to CNN. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Acting chief of cybersecurity stands by statement that got his predecessor fired," 3 Dec. 2020 Gebru, a Black woman, also suspects her history of speaking up inside Google about the lack of diversity among the company’s workforce and the treatment of minority employees may have contributed to her dismissal. Tom Simonite, Wired, "A Prominent AI Ethics Researcher Says Google Fired Her," 3 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for dismissal

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The first known use of dismissal was in 1778

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Last Updated

25 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dismissal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dismissal. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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