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

ratification \ ˌra-​tə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce ratification (audio) \ noun
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

Instead, the senators focus on potential job losses to China should the United States fail to ratify. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Republicans can't agree on this climate deal brokered by Obama," 12 July 2018 The school board and police union still need to ratify the raise plan, said Amity Schuyler, the school district’s chief of staff. Lois K. Solomon, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Schools need more police officers. Here's how one county plans to get them.," 12 July 2018 The deal has yet to be ratified in any member country and its chances of winning legislative approval are not assured. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "AP fact check: Trump isn’t holed up nonstop at White House," 14 Jan. 2019 In order for the treaty to take effect, fifty countries must ratify it. Sophie Brickman, The New Yorker, "Talking Arms Control with Babes in Arms," 7 May 2018 The deal must still be ratified by both houses of the General Assembly on Monday, the last day of the 90-day session. Michael Dresser, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland lawmakers reach deal on medical marijuana licenses, making more minority owners likely," 7 Apr. 2018 Kosovo, a tiny nation that unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, must ratify a 2015 border agreement with its neighbor Montenegro in order to obtain visa-free travel to members of the European Union. Cristina Maza, Newsweek, "Tear Gas Let Off in Kosovo Parliament Building As Nationalist Politicians Try to Stop Border Agreement," 21 Mar. 2018 Illinois was one of 15 states not to ratify before the 1982 deadline. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Ratification of Equal Rights Amendment about 'recognition of human rights,' Aurora-area lawmakers say," 1 June 2018 Shortly after Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on Wednesday night, festive and smiling lawmakers gathered at the front of the ornate House chamber for a celebratory group photo. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "Equal Rights Amendment approval comes 36 years after raucous Capitol protests," 1 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

14 Apr 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 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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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