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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Extinguishment

Meaning of Extinguishment

To extinguish means to put an end to; to cause to end. The extinguishment of a right or interest takes place when the right or interest comes to an end. A debt is extinguished when it is paid off or the creditor releases the debtor from the obligation to pay.

Extinguishment Alternative Definition

The destruction of a right or contract; the act by which a contract is made void ; the annihilation of a collateral thing or subject in the subject itself out of which it is derived. Prest. Merg. 9. For the distinction between an extinguishment and passing a right, see 2 Sharswood, Bl. Comm. 325, note. An extinguishment may be by matter of fact and by matter of law. It is by matter of fact either express, as when one receives satisfaction and full payment of a debt, and the creditor releases the debtor (11 Johns.[N. Y.] 513), or implied, as when a person nath a yearly rent out of lands, and becomes owner, either by descent or purchase, of the estate subject to the payment of the rent, and the latter is extinguished (3 Stew. [Ala.] 60) ; but the person must have as high an estate in the land as in the rent, or the rent will not be extinct (Co. Litt. 147b). There are numerous cases where the claim is extinguished by operation of law. For example, where two persons are jointly but not severally liable for a simple contract debt, a judgment obtained against one is at common law an extinguishment of the claim on the other debtor. 1 Pet. C. C. (U. S.) 301; 2 Johns. (N. Y.) 213. See, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index; Co. Litt. 147b; 1 RoUe, Abr. 933; 7 Viner, Abr. 367; 11 Viner, Abr. 461; 18 Viner, Abr. 493-515; 3 Nels. Abr. 818; Bac. Abr.; 5 Whart. (Pa.) 541; 2 Root (Conn.) 492; 3 Conn. 62; 6 Conn. 373; 1 Ohio, 187; 11 Johns. (N. Y.) 513; 1 Halst. (N. J.) 190; 4 N. H. 251; 31 Pa. St. 475.

Related Entries of Extinguishment in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Extinguishment in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Extinguishment in Historical Law

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Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

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Related Legal Terms

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Mentioned in these terms

Abolition, Determination, Merger, Novation, Payment, Recoupment, Satisfaction, Sinking Fund.


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Related topics Extinguishment in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Extinguishment is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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English Legal System: Extinguishment

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Extinguishment :

The cessation or cancellation of some right or interest. For example, an *easement is extinguished if the dominant and servient tenements come into the same ownership. Mere *non-user of an easement, however, will not cause it to be extinguished unless an intention to abandon it can be show




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