Definition of estoppel in English:



  • [mass noun] The principle which precludes a person from asserting something contrary to what is implied by a previous action or statement of that person or by a previous pertinent judicial determination.

    ‘the case had been one of estoppel’
    [count noun] ‘that fact is not sufficient to raise an estoppel’
    • ‘I take the view that the question of issue of estoppel does not and cannot arise in judicial review proceedings.’
    • ‘On the full facts the judge found that there was an estoppel and awarded him £200,000 based on the cost of care.’
    • ‘Historically, both these forms of estoppel are common law developments.’
    • ‘Given the absence of any such promise, any claim based on promissory estoppel would fail.’
    • ‘In my judgment there is no estoppel operating against the plaintiff.’
    • ‘I think that it is unhelpful to introduce private law concepts of estoppel into planning law.’


Mid 16th century: from Old French estouppail bung, from estopper (see estop).