rat·​i·​fy | \ ˈra-tə-ˌfī \
ratified; ratifying

Definition of ratify

transitive verb

: to approve and sanction formally : confirm ratify a treaty

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Other Words from ratify

ratification \ ˌra-​tə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən \ noun
ratifier \ ˈra-​tə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r \ 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

The Senate unanimously ratified the bill that aims to establish the new Bangsamoro autonomous region but House members adjourned early amid a reported leadership challenge without approving the autonomy deal. Jim Gomez, Fox News, "Philippine Congress' approval of Muslim peace deal delayed," 23 July 2018 The Council ratified the new rezoning proposal in April. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "Nora residents sue the city over controversial zoning decision," 6 June 2018 The union representing more than 2,000 Caesars Windsor employees, on strike since early April, ratified a tentative deal reached Saturday with the casino, ending the labor dispute. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Caesars Windsor employees ratify new contract, ending 2-month strike," 4 June 2018 Thirty-five of the needed 38 states ratified the ERA by its 1982 deadline. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Only one more state needs to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to finally get it ratified. Here are the 13 that haven't," 31 May 2018 In 2010, the Kenyan government ratified a new constitution that made access to water a universal right. Elijah Wolfson, Newsweek, "A Water Project Cleans Up Nairobi's Slum," 9 Nov. 2014 This year, Spirit Airlines pilots ratified a five-year contract that will raise pay rates by an average of 43 percent. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Spirit Airlines is the most on-time airline in America. Here’s why.," 17 Dec. 2018 The board recently ratified a year-long contract with its 72 musicians that keeps their same base salaries. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, "After a bumpy season, the San Antonio Symphony in a stronger, sunnier place," 3 July 2018 This latest development comes after Mondelez tried to entice the union to ratify the contract earlier this month by increasing the signing bonus for union members from $5,000 to $15,000. Greg Trotter, chicagotribune.com, "Still at impasse with union, Mondelez imposes parts of last offer," 24 May 2018

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

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Statistics for ratify

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for ratify

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

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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 \
ratified; ratifying

Kids Definition of ratify

: to give legal approval to (as by a vote)
rat·​i·​fy | \ ˈra-tə-ˌfī \
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 \ noun
ratifier \ ˈra-​tə-​ˌfī-​ər \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on ratify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ratify

Spanish Central: Translation of ratify

Nglish: Translation of ratify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ratify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ratify

What made you want to look up ratify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a complex dispute or argument

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