Sojourn vs adjourn

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Sojourn and adjourn are two words that are often confused. We will examine the definitions of sojourn and adjourn, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A sojourn is a temporary stay, a short visit, a period of time one spends as a traveler in a place other than one’s home. Used as a noun or a verb, the use of the word sojourn peaked around the late 1800s. It is still used, but is considered a somewhat formal word. Related words are sojourns, sojourned, sojourning, sojourner. The word sojourn was derived from the Old French word sejorn, meaning to stay for a period of time.

To adjourn means to end a meeting for a period of time with the idea of resuming the meeting at a later time. This later time might be in a matter of minutes or it may mean days, weeks or months. Adjourn may also be used to mean to leave the place where one is meeting and move to another place. Adjourn is a verb, related words are adjourns, adjourned, adjourning. The word adjourn is derived from the Old French word ajorner meaning meet.


The Dalai Lama returned to his abode on Wednesday after a month-and-a-half sojourn to Bodh Gaya in Bihar where he gave a series of sermons and presided over the initiation ceremony of over 50,000 devotees from more than 13 countries. (The Tribune India)

Alas, Barcelona, a schmaltzy ballad offering zero insights into the city in which he sojourned, has nothing on his calling card Budapest. (The Evening Standard)

Most notably, an argument about whether or not to enter closed session to discuss the hiring of a police chief and officer could not be resolved, leading Mayor Joseph Heck to adjourn the meeting. (The Devils Lake Journal)