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(less commonly), remittal
1. the act of remitting or state of being remitted
2. a reduction of the term of a sentence of imprisonment, as for good conduct
3. forgiveness for sin
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a period during the course of a chronic disease of man or animals during which the disease’s symptoms diminish or disappear. Remissions may result from the cyclic nature of a disease, as in the case of malaria, manic-depressive psychosis, or familial Mediterranean fever. They may also arise spontaneously, as with nephrolithiasis, or result from treatment, as in the case of schizophrenia or chronic dysentery.

Remissions may be complete or incomplete, depending on the degree of abatement of the subjective and objective symptoms of the disease. Complete remissions may continue for months and years, as in the case of lymphogranulomatosis. In other diseases, remission is unstable and may soon give way to a recurrence of the disease. Some symptoms of a disease, such as chromosome disturbance in the case of leukoses, may persist during complete remissions; therefore, maintenance therapy is often continued. At times it is difficult to distinguish complete remissions of many years from actual recovery, for example, with acute lymphoblastic leukosis in children.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.