Definition of adjourn in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈdʒəːn/


[with object]
1Break off (a meeting, legal case, or game) with the intention of resuming it later: the meeting was adjourned until December 4 [no object]: let’s adjourn and reconvene at 2 o’clock
More example sentences
  • He said he would refer the issue to the Attorney General for legal advice and adjourn the case until January 31, 2002.
  • The case was adjourned for a short break when the court heard that both defendants were feeling unwell.
  • The defence asked for time to obtain expert opinion from a US legal expert and the case was adjourned until Tuesday 18 October.
1.1 [no object, with adverbial] (Of a group of people) go somewhere for rest or refreshment: they adjourned to a local pub
More example sentences
  • Following Mass the group adjourned to Gavin's Golden Hill House where a delicious luncheon awaited everyone.
  • After inspection the group adjourned to Corpus Christy Communal Centre where tea was served and the signing took place.
  • After a walk round the extensive gardens and lake, the group adjourned to Lullingstone for lunch.
withdraw, retire, retreat, beat a retreat, take oneself, decamp, depart, go out, go off, go away, exit
formal repair, remove
literary betake oneself
rare abstract oneself
1.2Put off or postpone (a resolution or sentence): sentence was adjourned for a social inquiry report
More example sentences
  • Mr. Justice Carney said the only reason he adjourned the sentence and further hearing was because the youth faced a term of detention.
  • The man, of Bideford, Devon, had his bail extended by Judge John Neligan, who adjourned sentence for a pre-sentence report.
  • The judge warned the duo they must not assume the fact he had adjourned sentence for pre-sentence reports meant he was in any way indicating what penalty would follow.
suspend, break off, discontinue, interrupt, postpone, put off, put back, defer, delay, hold over, hold in abeyance, shelve, pigeonhole, stay, prorogue, dissolve, terminate, bring to an end, halt, call a halt to;
pause, suspend proceedings, take a break, recess, break up, end, come to an end;
North American  put over, table, lay on the table, take a recess
informal put on ice, put on the back burner, put in cold storage, mothball, take a breather, let up, knock off, take five
North American informal take a rain check
North American Law  continue
rare remit, respite


Middle English (in the sense 'summon someone to appear on a particular day'): from Old French ajorner, from the phrase a jorn (nome) 'to an (appointed) day'.

  • Now adjourn suggests ‘break off (until a later time)’, but the early sense was ‘summon someone to appear on a particular day’. It comes from Old French ajorner, from the phrase a jorn (nome) ‘to an (appointed) day’.

Words that rhyme with adjourn

astern, Berne, burn, churn, concern, discern, earn, fern, fohn, kern, learn, Lucerne, quern, Sauternes, spurn, stern, Sterne, tern, terne, Traherne, turn, urn, Verne, yearn

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ad|journ

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.