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

This September, at its General Assembly, the United Nations will consider a global agreement on migration that calls for safe, orderly, and regular migration, with the hope that it will be ratified by member states in December. Anne Fulenwider, Marie Claire, "United We Stand," 13 Aug. 2018 The treaty between the U.S. and Russia has been extended about three times since it was ratified back in 2010 as a revision of the previous pact. Alex Diaz, Fox News, "Russia's nuclear arsenal: All bark and no bite?," 8 Aug. 2018 The alliance’s governing contract was ratified in recent days by the parties’ bases. Jason Horowitz, BostonGlobe.com, "Italy’s populists get a green light to govern; some see a threat to EU," 23 May 2018 In exchange for a multi-year contract, Doan said, the university system offered 3 percent across-the-board wage increases annually for the next four years and proposed a one-time, lump sum payment of $750 once the contract was ratified. Molly Sullivan And Cathie Anderson, sacbee, "Picket line grows to 1,400 at UC Davis hospital as two unions add support | The Sacramento Bee," 8 May 2018 Much to the disappointment of hardworking feminist activists, only 35 states ratified it by the deadline. Marlena Scott, Teen Vogue, "The History of the Equal Rights Amendment, Explained," 22 Mar. 2019 Critics wanted more background checks to establish the deals’ authenticity before they were signed, but lawmakers ratified them quickly. Jonathan Paye-layleh, The Seattle Times, "Liberia’s footballer president Weah marks year in office," 22 Jan. 2019 So if Trump and Xi sign such a deal with the zero-tariff provision in it — and Congress ratifies it — then US automakers would see the most benefits. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump’s car deal with China is great — for other countries," 3 Dec. 2018 For the deal to come into effect, Greece's parliament would then have to ratify it. Fox News, "EU enlargement chief urges Macedonians to back name deal," 18 Sep. 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

26 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ratify

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

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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

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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