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 ratifier (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 23rd Amendment, ratified in 1961, grants the District of Columbia three votes. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court to Look at Electoral College Rules," 17 Jan. 2020 Under the new collective bargaining agreement ratified in October, GM agreed to convert temporary workers with three years of continual service to permanent status. USA TODAY, "Gray whale tows calf, wolves on the move, John Dillinger won’t be exhumed; News from around our 50 states," 11 Jan. 2020 The action is in keeping with the terms struck in the 2019 four-year UAW contract that GM union members ratified in October after a 40-day nationwide strike. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "Hundreds of GM temp workers were just made permanent," 8 Jan. 2020 Arkansas was the 12th state to ratify the 19th Amendment on July 28, 1919. Sean Clancy, Arkansas Online, "PAPER TRAILS: Arkansan to wave in Pasadena," 15 Dec. 2019 As part of Rwanda’s recovery from its post-genocide period, a new constitution was written and ratified in 2003. Kennedy Elliott, National Geographic, "Rwanda's legislature is majority female. Here’s how it happened.," 15 Oct. 2019 The American one, written in 1787 and ratified in 1788, has been amended just 27 times. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "India’s constitution is over 30 times as long as the US’, and it keeps getting bigger," 23 Sep. 2019 The amendment, ratified in 1868, was primarily intended to nullify the Supreme Court’s infamous 1857 ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford, which ruled that no African American could become a citizen, regardless of their status at birth. Dara Lind, Vox, "Birthright citizenship, explained: why some on the right want to end it, and what they get wrong," 23 July 2018 As part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which has since been ratified by 187 countries, former President Barack Obama pledged that the U.S. would reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. NBC News, "City of LED lights: How Carmel, Indiana, and other U.S. cities are trying to live up to the Paris Agreement," 11 Dec. 2019

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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Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ratify.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ratify. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for ratify


How to pronounce ratify (audio)

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 ratification (audio) \ noun
ratifier \ ˈra-​tə-​ˌfī-​ər How to pronounce ratifier (audio) \ 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

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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