nullify

verb
nul·​li·​fy | \ ˈnə-lə-ˌfī \
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

Gerrymandering isn’t the only way modern Republicans have tried to nullify Democratic votes. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Republican Party versus democracy," 17 Dec. 2018 On Seattle’s next drive, a Mike Davis run for a first down on third-and-four was nullified due to a holding penalty on Germain Ifedi. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks set new single-game franchise record for penalty yards in stunning overtime loss to 49ers," 16 Dec. 2018 Take the Australian league final, in which the game’s lone goal clearly should have involved an offside call — except technical difficulties with that particular camera angle prevented VAR from nullifying it. Mark Zeigler, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Your guide to the World Cup you forgot was happening," 13 June 2018 But Wednesday’s move to dismantle the reconciliation foundation was the most formal move yet by the Seoul government to nullify the agreement. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "South Korea Dissolves Group Central to WWII-Era Sex-Slaves Pact With Japan," 21 Nov. 2018 Pakistan's election commission reminded candidates their elections will be nullified if the female voter turnout didn't reach 10 percent. Fox News, "Suicide blast kills 31 as Pakistan holds general elections," 25 July 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 However, splitting the current trilateral deal into two separate bilateral agreements would likely require nullifying the 25-year-old agreement. New York Times, "Mexico, Hitting Back, Imposes Tariffs on $3 Billion Worth of U.S. Goods," 5 June 2018 Voting Rights: Congress could nullify Shelby County v. Holder by revising the Voting Rights Act pre-clearance authority. Gregory Koger, Vox, "How a Democratic Congress can push back against the Supreme Court," 12 Nov. 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

6 Jan 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 \
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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