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

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 The resolution putting forth the ERA included an arbitrary seven-year deadline for the states to ratify. Ben Cardin And Lisa Murkowski, CNN, 26 Mar. 2022 Now, all that was left was for the owners to ratify the deal. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 11 Mar. 2022 After a voting period of several weeks, SAG-AFTRA members have opted to ratify three-year successor agreements to the union’s commercials contracts. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 May 2022 Three more states have since: Nevada in 2017, Illinois in 2018 and Virginia in 2020, which became the 38th state to ratify. Ben Cardin And Lisa Murkowski, CNN, 26 Mar. 2022 The Amazon workers at the JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island will need to ratify a contract to become union members, the next step in an already lengthy process that former Amazon worker Chris Smalls began last year as leader of the Amazon Labor Union. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 The deal is still pending an MFT members' vote to ratify the contract. Bynadine El-bawab, ABC News, 25 Mar. 2022 As a result, ISS is recommending that investors vote against a proposal to ratify Cook's compensation at Apple's March 4 shareholder meeting. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 17 Feb. 2022 Approximately 1,400 Kellogg workers from four states have agreed to ratify a new contract with the cereal maker, their union said Tuesday, ending one of the longest-running labor strikes amid a recent nationwide wave. Téa Kvetenadze, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ratify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ratify. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ratify


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)


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on ratify

Nglish: Translation of ratify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ratify for Arabic Speakers


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