an·​nul ə-ˈnəl How to pronounce annul (audio)
annulled; annulling

transitive verb

: to declare or make legally invalid or void
wants the marriage annulled
His title to the estate was annulled.
: to reduce to nothing : obliterate
: to make ineffective or inoperative : neutralize
annul a drug's effect
Choose the Right Synonym for annul

nullify, negate, annul, abrogate, invalidate mean to deprive of effective or continued existence.

nullify implies counteracting completely the force, effectiveness, or value of something.

a penalty nullified the touchdown

negate implies the destruction or canceling out of each of two things by the other.

the arguments negate each other

annul suggests making ineffective or nonexistent often by legal or official action.

the treaty annuls all previous agreements

abrogate is like annul but more definitely implies a legal or official act.

a law to abrogate trading privileges

invalidate implies making something powerless or unacceptable by declaration of its logical or moral or legal unsoundness.

the court invalidated the statute

Examples of annul in a Sentence

unfortunately, his arrogant attitude annuls the many generous favors he does for people plans to annul their short-lived, ill-advised marriage
Recent Examples on the Web Remember when the European Commission decided Apple needed to pay $15 billion in Irish back taxes, and the EU’s General Court annulled the decision four years later because the Commission didn’t prove Apple’s cozy Irish tax arrangement gave the company a particular advantage? David Meyer, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2023 But they are thwarted when their parents annul the union and the young girl stays home in Iowa to help her family, while the young man moves to the city. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 27 Oct. 2023 Poland last month filed legal challenges aimed at annulling three of the European Union’s main climate change policies. Barry Hatton and Helena Alves, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Sep. 2023 Ukrainians protested in what became known as the Orange Revolution, and the election result was annulled. Michael Kimmage, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 In 2021, the court outlined very narrow circumstances under which a Basic Law can be annulled. Hadas Gold, CNN, 12 Sep. 2023 Spears married childhood friend Jason Alexander in Las Vegas in 2004 for 55 hours, before the couple quickly had their union annulled. Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY, 17 Aug. 2023 The generals who annulled elections in Myanmar consider India a steadfast friend. Time, 20 June 2023 Coalition members argued that unenforced and antiquated laws should be annulled. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'annul.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English annullen, from Anglo-French annuller, from Late Latin annullare, from Latin ad- + nullus not any — more at null

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of annul was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near annul

Cite this Entry

“Annul.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


an·​nul ə-ˈnəl How to pronounce annul (audio)
annulled; annulling
: to make ineffective : neutralize
: to bring to an end legally
annul a marriage

Legal Definition


transitive verb
an·​nul ə-ˈnəl How to pronounce annul (audio)
annulled; annulling
: to declare (a marriage) to have never validly existed compare divorce
: to make legally void
: to declare to no longer have legal effect

More from Merriam-Webster on annul

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