annulment

noun
an·​nul·​ment | \ ə-ˈnəl-mənt \

Definition of annulment

1 : the act of annulling something : the state of being annulled
2 : a judicial or ecclesiastical pronouncement declaring a marriage invalid

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Did You Know?

Annulment usually applies to marriage. In some states an annulment may be carried out by a court ("judicial annulment"), but annulment is generally practiced by a church ("ecclesiastic annulment"), and principally the Roman Catholic Church, which traditionally hasn't permitted divorce. The usual acceptable reason for annulment is a "failure to consummate" the marriage by having children. Unlike a marriage that ends in divorce, an annulled marriage is considered never to have existed. Other things can be annulled as well, including a contract (if one party fails to comply with its terms) or an election (if it wasn't carried out properly).

Examples of annulment in a Sentence

an annulment of that hastily conceived marriage can't come too soon

Recent Examples on the Web

Wolsey’s dismissal did not bring the annulment immediately closer. Allan Massie, WSJ, "‘Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life’ Review: The King’s Fixer," 2 Nov. 2018 Bharti convinced her parents to support annulments. Shashank Bengali, latimes.com, "An Indian activist fights in court to help child brides and grooms win their lives back," 18 June 2018 So, in the case of annulment, the Speaker of the House (soon-to-be Nancy Pelosi) would take on the role of President until the next election. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Will Actually Happen to Trump?," 19 Dec. 2018 Bharti convinced her parents to support annulments. Shashank Bengali, latimes.com, "An Indian activist fights in court to help child brides and grooms win their lives back," 18 June 2018 Of 15 appeals to abuse-of-dominance cases from 2000 to 2016, the commission won 11 outright and faced partial annulment in four, Mr. Komninos said. Daniel Michaels, WSJ, "Google Faces Uphill Battle in Appealing EU Android Fine," 19 July 2018 Bharti convinced her parents to support annulments. Shashank Bengali, latimes.com, "An Indian activist fights in court to help child brides and grooms win their lives back," 18 June 2018 Bharti convinced her parents to support annulments. Author: Shashank Bengali, Anchorage Daily News, "In India, ‘child marriage is like a disease’," 24 June 2018 Some senators, such as majority leader Tito Sotto III, suggest that making annulment a more streamlined, accessible process would be better than legalizing divorce. James Hookway, WSJ, "A #MeToo Divorce Debate in the Philippines," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'annulment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of annulment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near annulment

annulet

annulism

annuller

annulment

Annulosa

annulus

annunciate

Statistics for annulment

Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for annulment

The first known use of annulment was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for annulment

annulment

noun
an·​nul·​ment | \ ə-ˈnəl-mənt \

Legal Definition of annulment

1 : the act of annulling : the state of being annulled
2 : a declaration by a court that a marriage is invalid — compare divorce

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