rat·​i·​fy | \ ˈra-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce ratify (audio) \
ratified; ratifying

Definition of ratify

transitive verb

: to approve and sanction formally : confirm ratify a treaty

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Other Words from ratify

ratifier \ ˈra-​tə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce ratify (audio) \ noun

Examples of ratify in a Sentence

A number of countries have refused to ratify the treaty. Lincoln's home state of Illinois was the first to ratify the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provided for the abolition of slavery.
Recent Examples on the Web In February, 2020, the Trump Administration signed a deal with the Taliban that pledged a U.S. troop exit by May 1st of this year, in effect kicking it to his successor to ratify or reject the decision. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Biden Finally Got to Say No to the Generals," 14 Apr. 2021 Since that time, three states with legislatures that did not ratify the ERA before the original deadline, Virginia, Illinois, and Nevada, have done so over the past four years. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Democrats try to revive Equal Rights Amendment despite recent legal hurdles," 16 Mar. 2021 Those three states' Democratic attorneys general recently sought to force the federal government to recognize Virginia’s vote last year to ratify the ERA and add the amendment to the Constitution. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "The House is moving on after passing COVID-19 relief. Here's a look ahead to what's on the agenda.," 11 Mar. 2021 Congress has intervened from time to time, asking the states to ratify constitutional amendments after the Civil War that protected the voting rights of all men, no matter their race or skin color, and extending that to all women in 1920. Kim Crockett, Star Tribune, "The states, not Congress, should make voting rules," 30 Mar. 2021 Proponents of the amendment have ignored the five states that withdrew support and pronounced Virginia to be the 38th state, the final one required to ratify the amendment. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "House passes bill reviving the Equal Rights Amendment," 17 Mar. 2021 At that point, Congress set a deadline in the amendment’s preamble, or introduction, for states to ratify it — originally 1979, which was later extended to 1982. New York Times, "House Votes to Drop E.R.A. Deadline, Reviving Hopes for Supporters. Again.," 17 Mar. 2021 Count Japan’s Naoto Omi, head of labor organization Rengo, among those lobbying Suga to ratify the International Labor Organization's Convention 111. William Pesek, Forbes, "How A Sexist Remark Made Japan’s $25 Billion Olympics Bet Pay Off," 12 Mar. 2021 Within an hour of its passage, states began to ratify the proposal. Manisha Claire, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Young Activists Got 18-Year-Olds the Right to Vote in Record Time," 11 Nov. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ratify

Middle English ratifien, from Anglo-French ratifier, from Medieval Latin ratificare, from Latin ratus determined, from past participle of reri to calculate — more at reason entry 1

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Time Traveler for ratify

Time Traveler

The first known use of ratify was in the 14th century

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Statistics for ratify

Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ratify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ratify. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ratify



English Language Learners Definition of ratify

: to make (a treaty, agreement, etc.) official by signing it or voting for it


rat·​i·​fy | \ ˈra-tə-fī How to pronounce ratify (audio) \
ratified; ratifying

Kids Definition of ratify

: to give legal approval to (as by a vote)
rat·​i·​fy | \ ˈra-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce ratify (audio) \
ratified; ratifying

Legal Definition of ratify

: to make valid or effective especially : to adopt or affirm (as the prior act or contract of an agent) by express or implied consent with the effect of original authorization unable to rescind the contract because he ratified it by accepting the benefits — compare reform

Other Words from ratify

ratification \ ˌra-​tə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce ratify (audio) \ noun
ratifier \ ˈra-​tə-​ˌfī-​ər How to pronounce ratify (audio) \ noun

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