Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
(1) In a court setting, a judge may dismiss or throw out all or a portion of a plaintiff's lawsuit without further evidence or testimony upon being persuaded that the plaintiff has not and cannot prove the case. This judgment may be made before or at anytime during the trial. The judge may independently decide to dismiss or may do so in response to a motion by the defendant. Also, the plaintiff may voluntarily dismiss an action before or during trial if the case is settled, if it is not provable, or if trial strategy dictates getting rid of a weak claim. A defendant may also be dismissed from a lawsuit, meaning the suit is dropped against that party. (2) To discharge or let an employee go.