noun Law.

  1. a rendering null and void.
  2. a condition on the performance of which a deed or other instrument is defeated or rendered void.
  3. a collateral deed or other writing embodying such a condition.

noun mainly law

  1. the act or process of rendering null and void; annulment
    1. a condition, the fulfilment of which renders a deed void
    2. the document containing such a condition

early 15c., from Anglo-French defesaunce, Old French desfaisance “undoing, destruction,” from desfaire (Modern French défaire) “to undo, destroy” (see defeat (v.)). Related: Defease; defeasible.

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