nul·​li·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌnə-lə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce nullification (audio) \

Definition of nullification

1 : the act of nullifying : the state of being nullified
2 : the action of a state impeding or attempting to prevent the operation and enforcement within its territory of a law of the U.S.

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Other Words from nullification

nullificationist \ ˌnə-​lə-​fə-​ˈkā-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce nullification (audio) \ noun

Examples of nullification in a Sentence

an act aimed at curbing sedition that was perhaps the most serious attempt at nullification of freedom of the press in the nation's history
Recent Examples on the Web There certainly is precedent for doing so — for nullification rather than declaring innocence. Noah Millman, TheWeek, "Trump's acquittal is not foreordained," 12 Feb. 2021 If so, Missouri would be among a dozen states that adopted federal gun regulation nullification bills during the Obama administration, particularly between 2010-13. John Haughey, Washington Examiner, "Missouri lawmakers race to be first to ‘nullify’ federal gun laws imposed by Biden administration," 4 Feb. 2021 That was ironic, given that Alabama would later be at the center of such electoral nullification schemes (in November 1964, there were no electors on the ballot pledged to Lyndon Johnson; Alabamians literally could not vote for him for president). Rick Perlstein, The New Republic, "The Trump Era Was Always Going to End in Violence," 20 Jan. 2021 For now, Oregon’s controversial new law does not present a nullification controversy. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Passes — and the Issue Isn’t Going Away," 7 Dec. 2020 Another lawsuit seeks nullification of votes in Nevada over fraud and irregularities. Aaron Morrison, Star Tribune, "Trump election challenges sound alarm among voters of color," 22 Nov. 2020 The nullification of that many votes would have made Trump the winner in each of those states and given him enough of an Electoral College advantage to launch him into a second term. Johnny Magdaleno, The Indianapolis Star, "Top Indiana election attorney rushes to defend Trump's fraud claims, then quietly retreats," 17 Nov. 2020 In its legal challenge, the state police union focused on the nullification by the reform law of contract language that exempted parts of personnel files from public disclosure laws. Edmund H. Mahony,, "Federal court dismisses lawsuit by Connecticut’s state police union that challenges part of new law that would give the public access to sealed complaints against troopers," 14 Oct. 2020 There are vignettes on the Burr Conspiracy, the nullification crisis, Texas annexation, the Mexican-American War, the New York City Draft Riots, and much else. Eric Herschthal, The New Republic, "Could the United States Break Up?," 1 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nullification.' 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 nullification

1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for nullification

Time Traveler

The first known use of nullification was in 1798

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Statistics for nullification

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nullification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for nullification


nul·​li·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌnə-lə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce nullification (audio) \

Legal Definition of nullification

: the act of nullifying : the state of being nullified — see also jury nullification

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