If an adjournment is final, it is said that it is sine die, "without day" or a set period to resume the job. An adjournment is distinguished from a recess and is just a brief delay of the proceedings.

Adjournment at assemblies formally signals the conclusion of a daily session. All federal and state legislatures vote to decide whether to recess. The exact scheduling depends on several variables such as workload, schedules for elections and the amount of committee among lawmakers. Because a session may conclude with unresolved legislative business, adjournment is widely used as a tool to secure or postpone action on important issues.