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 Sales have become so sluggish, that Jaguar, which is in the process of remaking itself as an EV-only brand, has announced it will be discontinued after next year. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 20 Feb. 2024 In 2016, Nike announced its exit from the golf equipment business, discontinuing sales of clubs, balls and golf bags. Samantha Delouya, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024 That's why the beverage company recently decided to discontinue half of them, shedding brands like Tab, Zico coconut water, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry and Odwalla juices but still leaving about 200 others to choose from. Anne D'innocenzio, Quartz, 12 Feb. 2024 Shortly after, Zucker alleges that her pay was cut and travel budget was discontinued as a form of retaliation for coming forward during the investigation. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2024 The route operated for 20 years before it was discontinued in 1997 as a result of federal budget cuts, and it was targeted partly because of low ridership. Kevin Fixler, Idaho Statesman, 6 Feb. 2024 The price dropped dramatically a year later, before it was discontinued. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 24 Jan. 2024 The watch world believes the famous model may be discontinued, as reported by Bloomberg. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 7 Feb. 2024 Launching their beauty line in 2000, their first collection of single-use skincare products and lip balms wrapped in sterilized, disposable packaging was quickly discontinued. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 6 Feb. 2024 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 4 Mar. 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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