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

But several of its members had seemed in no particular rush to ratify it. The Economist, "Asia is at last waking up to the threat of a trade war," 28 June 2018 In March 2017, decades after Indiana was the last to ratify the ERA before 1982, Nevada approved the constitutional amendment. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Illinois Votes to Ratify Equal Rights Amendment," 31 May 2018 The casino said 53% of union membership voted not to ratify the three-year agreement. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Caesars Windsor strike continues as workers reject agreement," 18 May 2018 Amendments must be ratified by the voters of 38 state to become law. Pomerado News, "Meeting Monday on amending Constitution," 17 May 2018 The internet’s purpose is to ratify knowledge through the accumulation and manipulation of ever expanding data. Henry A. Kissinger, The Atlantic, "How the Enlightenment Ends," 15 May 2018 The purpose of the trip is to lobby members of the Illinois House to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment before Tuesday’s expected vote. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Free bus rides to Springfield for ERA rally will leave from Naperville," 3 May 2018 Most notoriously, the push to ratify the 19th Amendment in the American South involved ugly compromise with the forces of white supremacy. Joanna Scutts, The New Republic, "The Fight Women Won," 20 Apr. 2018 The scene: To urge lawmakers to ratify the amendment, the women organized the Alice Paul Vigil for ERA — named for the women's rights activist — at the Indiana Statehouse on Jan. 5, 1977. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Meet and dine with these renegade women who changed Indiana during Women's History Month," 21 Mar. 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

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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