Simple Definition of abrogate
: to end or cancel (something) in a formal and official way
: to fail to do what is required by (something, such as a responsibility)
Examples of abrogate in a sentence
If UAL continues to bleed red ink, some analysts say bankruptcy—which would allow it to abrogate its union contracts—may be its only hope. —Business Week, 12 Nov. 2001
We may not always like what we hear but we are always the poorer if we close down dialogue; if we abrogate free speech, and the open exchange of ideas. —Nikki Giovanni, Sacred Cows … and Other Edibles, 1988
For their part, some of the pipeline companies saddled with these contracts for high-priced, deregulated gas have declared that they will simply abrogate them … —Barry Commoner, New Yorker, 2 May 1983
The company's directors are accused of abrogating their responsibilities.
<the U.S. Congress can abrogate old treaties that are unfair to Native Americans>
Did You Know?
If you can't simply wish something out of existence, the next best thing might be to "propose it away." That's more or less what "abrogate" lets you do - etymologically speaking, at least. "Abrogate" comes from the Latin root rogare, which means "to propose a law," and ab-, meaning "from" or "away." We won't propose that you try to get away from the fact that "rogare" is also an ancestor in the family tree of "prerogative" and "interrogate." "Abrogate" first appeared in English as a verb in the 16th century; it was preceded by an adjective sense meaning "annulled" or "cancelled" which is now obsolete.
Origin of abrogate
Latin abrogatus, past participle of abrogare, from ab- + rogare to ask, propose a law — more at right
First Known Use: 1526
Synonym Discussion of abrogate
Rhymes with abrogate
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Legal Definition of abrogate
Origin of abrogate
Latin abrogare, from ab- off + rogare ask, ask for approval of (a law)
Seen and Heard
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