1 : to abolish by authoritative action : annul
2 : to treat as nonexistent
The newspaper’s editors abrogated their responsibilities by failing to investigate the wrongful actions of the mayor’s office more forcefully.
"Israelis are worrying that a new government in Egypt could abrogate the two countries' 31-year-old peace treaty that is a cornerstone of Israel's security policy." -- From an article by Linda Gradstein in AOL News, February 15, 2011
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.
Test Your Memory
What is the meaning of "savant," our Word of the Day from March 21, 2011? The answer is ...