The first definition of remission in rheumatoid arthritis was proposed by Pinals and colleagues in 1981. Although its development process was of high quality, the definition proved unfeasible and was not often applied. Subsequently many other definitions appeared, either as variations or as cutpoints of disease activity indices. The American College of Rheumatology, together with the European League Against Rheumatism and the Initiative for Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) decided to develop a new definition that would meet the OMERACT Filter of Truth, discrimination and Feasibility. This article summarizes the development process to date. The new definition is expected to be launched in 2010.