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

Confiscation would also have had the problem of ratifying the idea that human beings were property. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "Emancipation Deniers Target Lincoln’s Reputation," 11 Feb. 2019 Citing benefits from a streamlined curriculum and financial savings, District 75 approved the items 6-1 on Monday and District 120 ratified the package 6-1 on Tuesday. Rick Kambic, chicagotribune.com, "Mundelein elementary and high school districts to share superintendent who will get $70,000 raise," 24 May 2018 That’s why the agreement in L.A., which was ratified Jan. 22, is full of provisions to that effect: a school nurse in every school, every day; more counselors; a commitment to more community schools that provide wraparound services. WSJ, "Teachers Union Chief Defends the L.A. Strike," 28 Jan. 2019 After the 19th Amendment was ultimately ratified in the early 1920s, California, Georgia, Illinois, and Oklahoma quickly sent women to Congress as well. Li Zhou, Vox, "The first year every state sent a woman to Congress, in one map," 7 Nov. 2018 That offer expired Sunday when the deal wasn’t ratified. Greg Trotter, chicagotribune.com, "Still at impasse with union, Mondelez imposes parts of last offer," 24 May 2018 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

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

17 Feb 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

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esteemed in general opinion

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