nullify

verb
nul·​li·​fy | \ ˈnə-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce nullify (audio) \
nullified; nullifying

Definition of nullify

transitive verb

1 : to make null (see null entry 1 sense 1) especially : to make legally null and void nullify a law
2 : to make of no value or consequence (see consequence sense 3) a promise later nullified

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Choose the Right Synonym for nullify

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

Did You Know?

A legislature may nullify a ban, a law, or a tax by simply passing a new law. Election results can be nullified if a court finds the voting process was improper, and a court ruling can be nullified by a higher court. Even the Supreme Court itself may have its decisions nullified by new laws passed by the Congress—though not if a decision is based on the Constitution. In the years leading up to the American Civil War, Southern states claimed the right to nullify any federal law (such as antislavery laws) that they believed to be unconstitutional, leading to the Nullification Crisis of 1832. Annul is a close synonym of nullify (with the same root), as are abrogate and invalidate.

Examples of nullify in a Sentence

The law has been nullified by the U.S. Supreme Court. The penalty nullified the goal.

Recent Examples on the Web

Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified the August election after Odinga claimed that hackers infiltrated the electoral commission’s computer system and changed results in favor of Kenyatta. Tom Odula, USA TODAY, "Kenyan opposition leader ‘sworn in;' event called treason," 30 Jan. 2018 Guidance documents have separately been under fire from Republicans in Congress, which nullified the consumer bureau’s guidelines on indirect auto lending earlier this year. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, "Banks Push for Regulators to Ease Up on Them," 6 Nov. 2018 Congress effectively nullified the law’s requirement that most people either purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty—by reducing the penalty to $0. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Democratic-Led States Appeal Ruling Invalidating Affordable Care Act," 3 Jan. 2019 Scott Olson/Getty Images The Wisconsin Republican Party is nullifying the results of the 2018 election. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Wisconsin power grab is part of a bigger Republican attack on democracy," 6 Dec. 2018 The two teams nullified each other for the first 18 minutes, but the first half-chance of the match produced the opening goal. SI.com, "Australia 0-2 Peru: Socceroos Eliminated as Incas Bid Farewell With First World Cup Win in 40 Years," 26 June 2018 However, splitting the current trilateral deal into two separate bilateral agreements would likely require nullifying the 25-year-old agreement. Ana Swanson And Jim Tankersley, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump signals he wants separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico," 6 June 2018 Daniels is suing Trump and Cohen in Los Angeles federal court in an attempt to nullify the nondisclosure agreement. Michael Finnegan, latimes.com, "Stormy Daniels sues Trump for defamation over 'con job' remark on Twitter," 30 Apr. 2018 Some state Republicans have even decided to nullify the results of this year’s elections. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Republican Party versus democracy," 17 Dec. 2018

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

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nullify

Late Latin nullificare, from Latin nullus

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Statistics for nullify

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nullify

The first known use of nullify was in 1607

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More Definitions for nullify

nullify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of nullify

: to make (something) legally null
: to cause (something) to lose its value or to have no effect

nullify

transitive verb
nul·​li·​fy | \ ˈnə-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce nullify (audio) \
nullified; nullifying

Legal Definition of nullify

: to make null nullify a contract

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More from Merriam-Webster on nullify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nullify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nullify

Spanish Central: Translation of nullify

Nglish: Translation of nullify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nullify for Arabic Speakers

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