Extinguishment Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Extinguishment.

Extinguishment (noun)

In legal terms, extinguishment refers to the discontinuation or cancellation of a right, interest, or obligation. This could occur either due to a time period lapsing (like waiting too long to claim money owed, thus forfeiting the collection rights) or due to the completion or satisfaction of the obligation (fulfilling a contract's terms to the point where no further monetary or other contributions are needed).

For example, in the case of a promissory note, if more than four years have passed since the payment due date and no demand has been made for that payment, the right to collect the debt is extinguished. Also, if an obligation (like a loan for example), has been paid in full, then the debt is considered extinguished, and no further payments are due.